Benefits of Agricultural Districts Overview

Overview

Agricultural districts provide the local farming community with certain safeguards, which have the overall goal of keeping agricultural lands in agriculture. The benefits are summarized below. Click to find out more detailed information on each.

  • NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Summary of Agriculture District Law (PDF)
  • A current copy of the Agricultural District Law (PDF)
  • Limits to Local Regulation - Local governments cannot enact any rules or regulations in agricultural districts that are overly burdensome to agriculture, making it difficult or impossible to continue with agricultural production.
  • Limits to Publicly Funded Construction and Eminent Domain Projects - If a governmental agency would like to perform certain construction activities or would like to acquire agricultural lands in an agricultural district, they must first go through a formal review process to determine the impacts of agriculture. A process is in place if unreasonable adverse impacts to agriculture would occur.
  • Limits to Local Benefits Assessments - Local governments cannot charge benefit assessments, special ad valorem levies, or other rates or fees to lands used primarily for agricultural production within an agricultural district. The agricultural assessment program allows eligible farmland owners to receive real property assessments based on the value of their land for agricultural production rather than on its development value. Please view more information for Agricultural Assessments online.
  • Discouragement of Private Nuisance Lawsuits - Property owners are notified at the time of sale that their property is within an agricultural district. Additionally, the State will determine what is considered a "sound agricultural practice." Sound agricultural practices cannot be considered a nuisance on lands within an agricultural district or on lands receiving an agricultural assessment.
  • Consider Agricultural Impacts by All-State Agencies - The Agricultural District Law ensures all State agencies seek to protect viable farmland.