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County begins review for Agricultural District

Per New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Section 303-a(1), the Chautauqua County Legislature is required to review an Agricultural District eight years after its creation and every eight years thereafter.

The eight-year review of Chautauqua County Agricultural District 8 will take place in the towns of Busti, Carroll, Chautauqua, Ellery, Ellicott, Kiantone, Poland, and Stockton, villages of Bemus Point, Cassadaga, Celoron, Falconer, Lakewood, and Mayville, and the city of Jamestown encompassing 99,006 acres. Chautauqua County has designated Aug. 1-30 as the 30 day public review period.

During this 30 day period, any municipality, landowner, or State Agency whose territory is within the Agricultural District may propose a modification to the Agricultural District. Landowners may submit requests to add parcels of predominantly viable agricultural land or remove parcel(s).

The Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development will accept requests from Aug. 1-30. Submit all requests to the Department of Planning and Development, 201 West Third Street Suite 115 Jamestown, New York 14701 or email to sharpl@chqgov.com on or before 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 30. Any questions on the process should be directed to the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development.

The Agricultural District 8 Review Worksheet, current Agricultural District Maps, and additional information can be found on the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development website at bit.ly/CHQagdistrict. A map of District 8 is on file and open to public inspection at the Clerk’s Office of the Chautauqua County Legislature in Mayville, N.Y. Please call 716-753-4215 to schedule an appointment.

At the end of the 30 day period, the proposed modifications will be submitted to the Chautauqua County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board (AFPB). Based on the AFPB’s recommendations, a report will be prepared for the Planning and Economic Development (PED) Legislative Committee’s review. After review by the PED Legislative Committee, the recommendation will be forwarded to the Chautauqua County Legislature for a public hearing. Following the public hearing, the legislature will vote via resolution to accept the recommendations made by the AFPB. The county legislature will then send the resolution to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets to certify the modifications. If the commissioner certifies the modifications, all changes will be in effect.

An agricultural district is a geographic area which consists predominantly of viable agricultural land. Agricultural operations within the district are the priority land use and afforded benefits and protections to promote the continuation of farms and the preservation of agricultural land. This should not be confused with the agricultural assessment program, which allows eligible farmland to be taxed at its agricultural assessment. Land owners should see their local assessor to find out more information on agricultural assessment for their parcel(s).

For more information about the Agricultural District Review, visit the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development website at: bit.ly/CHQagdistrict or contact Lauren Sharp at (716) 661-8245 or sharpl@chqgov.com.

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