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Legislator Francis Corcoran Encourages Landowners to Consider Agricultural District Participation

Legislator Francis Corcoran (R) Bedford, is advising farmers and prospective farmers in his Legislative District that the 1 month period to apply for inclusion in Westchester County’s Agriculture District has begun and runs till the end of January.  Legislator Corcoran is Chair of the Board of Legislators Environment and Health Committee.  After an application has been accepted by the Westchester County Agriculture & Farmland Protection Board, it is the BOL Environment and Health Committee which reviews the application for final recommendation to the entire BOL.


Legislator Corcoran said, “This summer will mark the 16th anniversary and Recertification of the Westchester County Agriculture District Number 1. It is a good time to apply to join the Agriculture District.


“The Ag District provides certain benefits to farms and ecological resources. Parcels of Land which are in the Agricultural District are afforded protections against and exempted from local zoning laws which could be an impediment to farming.


“The Agriculture District is important to our communities and the County. It was founded in 2001 to preserve and protect farmland. There are over 6,000 acres of farmland located within the Westchester Agricultural District creating economic stimulus for their communities. Every dollar in total farm output leads to an additional 42 cents in local economic activity. The location of Westchester County within the New York metropolitan market means outstanding opportunities for high value agricultural niche products.”


Parcels from the following municipalities are eligible to be included in the district: Cortlandt, Yorktown, Somers, North Salem, Lewisboro, Bedford, Sleepy Hollow and a portion of Mount Pleasant.


To apply, make a formal request to the Board Of Legislators (BOL) and send a copy of the request to Westchester County Agriculture & farmland Protection Board (AFPB), courtesy of the Westchester County Department of Planning. The request must include the Application for Addition of Land to an Existing Agriculture District. The form can be found at the Westchester County website: http://planning.westchestergov.com/images/stories/pdfs/AgDistApplication.pdf


The APB will review the applications beginning in January. They will make their recommendations to the Environment & Health Committee and then open to public comment before the Board of Legislators.

 

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