Schenectady County announced that applications from landowners interested in becoming part of the County’s agricultural district will be accepted during the month of December. Under New York State Law, the County is required to establish an annual review period to give landowners an opportunity to request inclusion in the Agricultural District. The Schenectady County Legislature has established December 1 to December 30 as the annual application period.
“Agricultural districts are a tool that counties can use to help landowners preserve open spaces and make farming a more viable industry within their borders,” said Schenectady County Legislator Holly Vellano. “Created almost 35 years ago, Schenectady County’s agricultural district includes over 140 farms that provide fresh fruits and vegetables, and other agricultural products to our community.”
The goal of the district is to encourage the continued use of farmland for agricultural production and maintain and enhance the agricultural industry within Schenectady County. The district provides a combination of landowner incentives and protections, all of which are designed to forestall the conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses. The Schenectady County Agricultural District consists of 19,817 acres, representing nearly 15 percent of the total land area in the County.
After the 30-day review period is completed, applications will be reviewed by the County’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board. A public hearing will be held by the County Legislature and a final vote taken by the Legislature to include additional parcels in the Agricultural District. The application is available at http://www.schenectadycounty.com/ed-planning. More information can be obtained from the Department of Economic Development and Planning by calling (518) 386-2225 ext. 226.
Two parcels totaling 258 acres were added to Schenectady County’s Agricultural District after the 2021 annual review period.