Agricultural and Farmland
Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board
The County Legislature established the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board through Genesee County Resolution No. 19 of 1993 in accordance with NYS Agriculture and Markets Law, Section 302. The Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board consists of eleven (11) members and it is tasked with advising the Legislature in matters relating to establishment, modification, continuation, or termination of agricultural districts within Genesee County. The Board also issues recommendations to the Legislature in regards to the Agricultural District Annual Enrollment and Smart Growth Plan revisions. In addition, it responds to Notices of Intent from local municipalities in regards of utility extensions, such as water and sewer line extensions, through Agricultural District lands, and reviews local plans, such as municipal comprehensive plans and agricultural and farmland protection plans.
NYS Agriculture and Markets Law states that membership shall include four (4) active farmers, one (1) agri-business representative, and one (1) unspecified member residing in the County, as well as the following positions who shall serve for terms coterminous with their respective offices: Chair of the Soil & Water Conservation District, Member of the Board of Legislators, Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension or his/her designee, Director of Planning, and the Director of Real Property. One of the above may represent an organization dedicated to agricultural land preservation.
Term: Four years, no limit.
Donn Branton, Chairperson, Farmer
Janice Beglinger, Agriculture Outreach Educator Cornell Cooperative Extension
Steven Boldt, Farmer
Kevin Andrews, Director Real Property Tax Services
Christian Yunker, County Legislator
Marcia Hirsch, Agri-Business
LuAnne McKenzie, Farmer
Shelley Stein, Soil & Water Conservation District Chairperson
Janette Veazey-Post, Farmer
Felipe Oltramari, Director of Planning
Resource: Tim Welch, Soil & Water Conservation Technician
Minutes of Meetings
New York State's Agricultural District Law was enacted in 1971 as Article 25-AA of the Agriculture and Markets Law. It is intended to conserve and protect agricultural land as it recognizes that viable agricultural land is one of the State's most important and irreplaceable environmental and economic resources. Under this Law, land can be designated as an agricultural district. The process of creating an Agricultural District is initiated with a proposal by interested landowners to the Genesee County Legislature. The Law requires that steps be taken to determine that the district consists predominantly of viable agricultural land and is consistent with State, County and local comprehensive plans, policies, and objectives. The Agricultural District must be approved by the County Legislature for participation in the State program. Once a District is designated, participating farmers within it can receive relief from nuisance claims and certain forms of local regulation. There are four Agricultural Districts in Genesee County. Enrollment is free and voluntary. Agricultural District Law mandates that Agricultural Districts be periodically reviewed by the County Legislature and recertified by the State. In Genesee County, Agricultural District Reviews occur every eight years from the district’s creation date. This process is undertaken on behalf of the Genesee County Legislature by the County Department of Planning. During review, landowners within the district boundaries may enroll or withdraw property from the district. Only entire parcels may be included or excluded.
You may view your current Agricultural District Enrollment Status through the County’s Web Mapping Application
Agricultural Districts Annual Enrollment
NYS Agricultural and Markets Law requires that the County Legislature designate an annual thirty-day time period within which a land owner may submit a request for inclusion of property within a certified agricultural district. This annual time period occurs in Genesee County from January 26th to February 24th and is exclusively designed to incorporate property which is predominantly viable agricultural land – defined by Genesee County as lands that are composed of at least 51% prime farmland soils and/or are contiguous to the main farm operation.
During this 30-day period, applications for the inclusion of land are available at the Genesee County Clerk of the Legislature’s Office in the Old Courthouse (7 Main Street, Batavia), the County Office Real Property Tax Services in County Building No. 1 (15 Main Street, Batavia), the Department of Planning in County Building No. 2 (3837 West Main Street Road, Batavia), at the office of the Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District (29 Liberty Street, Suite 3, Batavia). Applications can also be downloaded or printed from the link below. The application must be completed and signed by the landowner and returned to the Genesee County Department of Planning by 5:00 PM on February 24th. Due to the language of the NYS Agricultural and Markets Law, no applications can be accepted before January 26th.
PLEASE NOTE: Requesting enrollment of a property during this thirty-day time period is not a guarantee that your property will be added to an existing Agricultural District and it will not automatically qualify your property for a reduced agricultural property tax assessment. For information on obtaining a reduced agricultural property tax assessment you mustcontact your local assessor. Please remember, Taxable Status Date is March 1st.
Links and Documents
Agricultural Data Statement (pdf 132 kb)