Landowners this month have option to enroll in County Ag District

Posted 8 June 2021 at 11:09 am

Press Release, Orleans County Department of Planning & Development

Photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from May 9, 2018 shows fruit trees in bloom at Watt Farms, near the pond behind their country market on Route 98 in the Town of Gaines.

ALBION – Orleans County is accepting enrollment of additional parcels in its existing, certified agricultural district during the month of June, pursuant to New York State Agricultural and Markets Law.  The annual 30-day window is for inclusion of property that consists of predominantly viable agricultural land.

During this time period, land may only be added and not removed from County Agricultural District No.1, which in 2016 became the sole agricultural district in the County as a result of a consolidation process.

This opportunity supplements, but does not replace, enrollment in an existing agricultural district during a more comprehensive review process held once every eight years. The next eight-year anniversary review – the only time during which parcels can be both added and removed – will not occur until 2024. Presently, there are over 116,700 acres in County Agricultural District No. 1.

Requests for inclusion in District No. 1 will be evaluated, in order, by the Orleans County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board, the Orleans County Legislature, and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. To enroll, owners must complete and sign a Letter of Intent for Annual Enrollment form.

These are available from the Orleans County Department of Planning and Development (589-3197) or online by clicking here.

Completed forms should be sent by July 1st to:

Corey Winters, Planner

Orleans County Department of Planning & Development

14016 Route 31 West

Albion, NY  14411-9382

Please note that requesting enrollment during this 30-day time period is not a guarantee that an owner’s property will be added to Agricultural District No 1. Moreover, it will not automatically qualify your land for a reduced agricultural property tax assessment. For information on obtaining a reduced agricultural property tax assessment, please contact your local assessor.