Did your recently receive a letter from the Orange County Legislature informing you that your property was going to be removed, added or consolidated in the Orange County Agricultural Districts? Here’s why, and what you can do.
Agricultural Districts Nos. 1 and 2 were established in Orange County in 1972. Agricultural Districts are meant to identify agricultural lands for the purpose of defending and supporting farmers who are within the District by providing protections against nuisance lawsuits involving their agricultural practices and against overly-restrictive local laws that would inhibit a farmer’s ability to run a profitable farm business. Being within or outside of a District has no impact on taxation or the ability to use your land as permitted by local regulations.
NYS Agriculture and Markets Law section 303, requires counties to conduct a thorough review of the lands contained within their agricultural districts. The purpose of the review is to determine if land within the districts is viable farmland and/or used for agricultural purposes. Why did I get a Letter? In 2020, the County Planning Department conducted an extensive analysis of the Districts using modern mapping technology to determine which parcels would benefit from remaining in or being added to the District. The County is also proposing to combine Districts 1 and 2 into one District, named Orange County Agricultural District No. 1. As a result, the County is proposing to modify the Districts by reclassifying over 12,300 parcels to be either removed, added, or changed from District 2 to No. 1. Each affected landowner was mailed a letter stating the proposed modification to their parcel’s designation.
A virtual public hearing will be held by the County Legislature on Sept. 3 at 3:15 pm. (call 1-347-991-6654 Conference I.D. 521 402 152#), but anyone with an inquiry is encouraged to call the O. C. Planning Dept. ahead of time since time will be limited during the hearing. Maps of the proposed modifications can be viewed online at https://www.orangecountygov.com/268/Eight-Year-Review.
If you have questions or need further information, please contact the O. C. Planning Dept. at 845-615-3840 to talk to someone who will discuss your particular parcel with you. If, after discussing your parcel with the Planning Dept. staff you want your land to remain in the agricultural District, let them know; they will be sure it stays in the District. When is the Deadline? Nov. 4 is the last day to delete parcels from the 2020 Agricultural District 8 Year Review Proposed Modifications. The O. C. Legislature will vote on proposed modifications on Nov. 5 so that the Revised Agricultural District No. 1 can be certified by the NYS Commissioner of Agricultural and Markets on or before Nov. 20.
A Public Hearing to amend the Town’s Procurement policy, Chapter 33, will be held on Thurs., Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Warwick Town Hall.
The next regular meeting of the Town Board will be held on Thurs., Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Warwick Town Hall, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick.