Agriculture & Markets - Agricultural Districts - Agricultural districts; inclusion of viable agricultural land

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§ 303-b. Agricultural districts; inclusion of viable agricultural
land. 1. The legislative body of any county containing a certified
agricultural district shall designate an annual thirty-day period within
which a land owner may submit to such body a request for inclusion of
land which is predominantly viable agricultural land within a certified
agricultural district prior to the county established review period.
Such request shall identify the agricultural district into which the
land is proposed to be included, describe such land, and include the tax
map identification number and relevant portion of the tax map for each
parcel of land to be included.

2. Upon the termination of such thirty-day period, if any requests are
submitted, the county legislative body shall:

a. refer such request or requests to the county agricultural and
farmland protection board, which shall, within thirty days report to the
county legislative body its recommendations as to whether the land to be
included in the agricultural district consists predominantly of "viable
agricultural land" as defined in subdivision seven of section three
hundred one of this article and the inclusion of such land would serve
the public interest by assisting in maintaining a viable agricultural
industry within the district; and

b. publish a notice of public hearing in accordance with subdivision
three of this section.

3. The county legislative body shall hold a public hearing upon giving
notice in the following manner:

a. The notice of public hearing shall contain a statement that one or
more requests for inclusion of predominantly viable agricultural land
within a certified agricultural district have been filed with the county
legislative body pursuant to this section; identify the land, generally,
proposed to be included; indicate the time, date and place of the public
hearing, which shall occur after receipt of the report of the county
agricultural and farmland protection board; and include a statement that
the hearing shall be held to consider the request or requests and
recommendations of the county agricultural and farmland protection
board.

b. The notice shall be published in a newspaper having a general
circulation within the county and shall be given in writing directly to
those municipalities whose territory encompasses the lands which are
proposed to be included in an agricultural district and to the
commissioner.

4. After the public hearing, the county legislative body shall adopt
or reject the inclusion of the land requested to be included within an
existing certified agricultural district. Such action shall be taken no
later than one hundred twenty days from the termination of the thirty
day period described in subdivision one of this section. Any land to be
added shall consist of whole tax parcels only. Upon the adoption of a
resolution to include predominantly viable agricultural land, in whole
or in part, within an existing certified agricultural district, the
county legislative body shall submit the resolution, together with the
report of the county agricultural and farmland protection board and the
tax map identification numbers and tax maps for each parcel of land to
be included in an agricultural district to the commissioner.

5. Within thirty days after receipt of a resolution to include land
within a district, the commissioner shall certify to the county
legislative body whether the inclusion of predominantly viable
agricultural land as proposed is feasible and shall serve the public
interest by assisting in maintaining a viable agricultural industry
within the district or districts.

6. If the commissioner certifies that the proposed inclusion of
predominantly viable agricultural land within a district is feasible and
in the public interest, the land shall become part of the district
immediately upon such certification.