Agriculture & Markets - Agricultural Districts - County agricultural and farmland protection board


Published: 2014-09-22

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§ 302. County agricultural and farmland protection board. 1. (a) A
county legislative body may establish a county agricultural and farmland
protection board which shall consist of eleven members, at least four of
whom shall be active farmers. At least one member of such board shall
represent agribusiness and one member may represent an organization
dedicated to agricultural land preservation. These six members of the
board shall reside within the county which the respective board serves.
The members of the board shall also include the chairperson of the
county soil and water conservation district's board of directors or an
employee of the county soil and water conservation district designated
by the chairperson, a member of the county legislative body, a county
cooperative extension agent, the county planning director and the county
director of real property tax services. The chairperson shall be chosen
by majority vote. Such board shall be established in the event no such
board exists at the time of receipt by the county legislative body of a
petition for the creation or review of an agricultural district pursuant
to section three hundred three of this article, or at the time of
receipt by the county of a notice of intent filing pursuant to
subdivision four of section three hundred five of this article. The
members of such board shall be appointed by the chairperson of the
county legislative body, who shall solicit nominations from farm
membership organizations except for the chairperson of the county soil
and water conservation district's board of directors or his or her
designee, the county planning director and director of real property tax
services, who shall serve ex officio. The members shall serve without
salary, but the county legislative body may entitle each such member to
reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the
performance of official duties.

(b) After the board has been established, the chairperson of the
county legislative body shall appoint to it two qualified persons for
terms of two years each, two qualified persons for terms of three years
each and two qualified persons for a term of four years. Thereafter, the
appointment of each member shall be for a term of four years.
Appointment of a member of the county legislative body shall be for a
term coterminous with the member's term of office. Appointment of the
county planning director and county director of real property tax
services shall be coterminous with their tenure in such office. The
appointment of the chairperson of the county soil and water conservation
district's board of directors shall be for a term coterminous with his
or her designation as chairperson of the county soil and water
conservation district's board of directors. Any member of the board may
be reappointed for a succeeding term on such board without limitations
as to the number of terms the member may serve.

(c) The county agricultural and farmland protection board shall advise
the county legislative body and work with the county planning board in
relation to the proposed establishment, modification, continuation or
termination of any agricultural district. The board shall render expert
advice relating to the desirability of such action, including advice as
to the nature of farming and farm resources within any proposed or
established area and the relation of farming in such area to the county
as a whole. The board may review notice of intent filings pursuant to
subdivision four of section three hundred five of this article and make
findings and recommendations pursuant to that section as to the effect
and reasonableness of proposed actions involving the advance of public
funds or acquisitions of farmland in agricultural districts by
governmental entities. The board shall also assess and approve county
agricultural and farmland protection plans.

(d) A county agricultural and farmland protection board may request
the commissioner of agriculture and markets to review any state agency
rules and regulations which the board identifies as affecting the
agricultural activities within an existing or proposed agricultural
district. Upon receipt of any such request, the commissioner of
agriculture and markets shall, if the necessary funds are available,
submit in writing to the board (i) notice of changes in such rules and
regulations which he or she deems necessary, (ii) a copy of
correspondence with another agency if such rules and regulations are
outside his or her jurisdiction, including such rules and regulations
being reviewed, and his or her recommendations for modification, or
(iii) his or her reasons for determining that existing rules and
regulations be continued without modification.

(e) The county agricultural and farmland protection board shall notify
the commissioner and the commissioner of the department of environmental
conservation of any attempts to propose the siting of solid waste
management facilities upon farmland within an agricultural district.

2. Upon the request of one or more owners of land used in agricultural
production the board may review the land classification for such land
established by the department of agriculture and markets, consulting
with the district soil and water conservation office, and the county
cooperative extension service office. After such review, the board may
recommend revisions to the classification of specific land areas based
on local soil, land and climatic conditions to the department of
agriculture and markets.