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Schoharie Agricultural District #3 Under Review

Written By Michael on 6/29/15 | 6/29/15

Schoharie County Agricultural District #3 is up for its 8 year review. This district, originally formed on September 27, 1974, encompasses over 2,900 parcels, includes over 72,000 acres and is situated in the Towns of Carlisle, Cobleskill, Esperance, Richmondville, Schoharie, Seward, Sharon and Summit. It is the County’s largest Ag District, and encompasses some of the County’s best agricultural land.

All Landowners in the District will receive an Agricutural District Review Worksheet in the mail. In order to document the impact of agriculture in this district, it is important to complete the Worksheet. The information will be compiled and forwarded with additional supporting documents to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Worksheets need to be returned by July 13, 2015.

In addition to the survey, if you have comments or would like to suggest modifications to the District, the County is holding a 30 day public comment period on the district. Comments are being accepted from June 12, 2015 to July 13, 2015. A copy of the map showing the entire district is available for review at the County Clerk’s office, 284 Main Street, Schoharie, NY, or on the County’s web site at Comments and modifications can be sent to Sheryl Largeteau, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, PO Box 429, Schoharie, NY 12157.

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors is required to hold a public hearing on this Ag District. The hearing is anticipated on August 21, 2015 at 10:00 am during the regular Board of Supervisors meeting on the third floor of the County Office Building, 284 Main Street, Schoharie, New York.

Benefits for Farm Operations in Agricultural Districts in New York State:

• the mandate that State Agencies, as a matter of policy, encourage the maintenance of viable farming in Agricultural districts,
• the limitation on the exercise of eminent domain and other public acquisitions and the advance of public funds for certain construction activities,
• the limitation on the siting of a solid waste management facility on land in agricultural production,
• the limitation on the power to impose benefit assessments, special ad valorem levies or other rates or fees in certain improvement districts or benefit areas,
• the requirement that local governments, when exercising their powers to enact and administer comprehensive plans and local laws, ordinances, rules or regulations do so in a manner that realizes the intent of the Agricultural Districts Law and does not unreasonably restrict or regulate farm operations, and
• the requirement that applications for certain planning and zoning actions impacting on a farm operation within an agricultural district or on lands within five hundred feed of a farm operation within an agricultural district, include an agricultural data statement designed to allow the review agency to evaluate the possible impacts of the proposed action on the functioning of the farm operation.

Additionally, the Agricultural Districts Law establishes a land classification system used to assign agricultural assessment values to qualified properties both in and outside of a district, creates a process for the review of agricultural practices, discourages private nuisance lawsuits due to an agricultural practice which is determined to be sound, provides for advisory opinions as to whether particular land uses are agricultural in nature and requires disclosure to prospective grantees of real property that the property is in an agricultural district.

If you have questions about the Ag District Program, or other matters related to review of Ag District # 3, please contact Alicia Terry, Senior Planner at her office number 295–8770 or email at
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