Greene County has one consolidated Agricultural District No. 124. Historically there had been up to five (5) agricultural districts in Greene County. In 2003 the three (3) remaining district were consolidated in one district, Ag District No. 124.
Following the State certification of the 2021 annual review of Agricultural District No. 124 there are currently 823 parcels encompassing 41,370.69 acres within the Towns of Ashland, Athens, Cairo, Catskill, Coxsackie, Durham, Halcott, Hunter, Greenville, Jewett, New Baltimore, Prattsville, Lexington, Windham and the Villages of Athens, Catskill, Coxsackie, Hunter, and Tannersville as established under Article 25AA of the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law.
The intent of the Ag District is to protect and enhance farm lands as both a viable segment of the local and State economies, and as an economic and environmental resource of major importance. Agricultural operations within the district are the priority land use and afforded benefits and protections to promote the continuation of farming and the preservation of agricultural land.
Being in the agricultural district protects farm operations from the enactment and administration of unreasonably restrictive local regulations. Agricultural Districts do not preserve farmland in the sense that the use of land is restricted to agricultural production forever. Rather, districts provide benefits that help make and keep farming as a viable economic activity, thereby maintaining land in active agricultural use.
Agricultural operations can also receive reduced property tax bills for land in agricultural production by limiting the property tax assessment of such land to the value of the land for agricultural production, rather than its full development value.
In accordance with NYS law, a public hearing is held annually on proposed modifications to Greene County Agricultural District No. 124 based on the 2021 annual district review. A map depicting the proposed modifications is available for public review on file at the Greene County Clerk’s Office.
From October 1 through October 30 of each year, any municipality whose territory is in Agricultural District No. 124, any State Agency or any landowner within or adjacent to the district may request an addition to the district. A ‘Request for Inclusion’ form and an ‘Agricultural District Review Worksheet’ must be completed and sent to Greene County Economic Development, Tourism & Planning, 411 Main Street, Catskill, N.Y. 12414 by October 30.
At the end of the thirty (30) day period, the Greene County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) will meet to review the proposed additions. A public hearing will be held on the proposed additions and recommendations of the AFPB. The dates and times of the AFPB meetings and public hearing will be posted.
For more information, call (518) 719-3290.
State law requires the County to conduct a comprehensive review and recertification of the Ag district every 8 years. This review measures the effectiveness of the District with respect to its compliance with the intent of the law and to modify its boundaries as necessary. The recertification process examines the nature and status of farming and farm resources within Ag District No. 124, including the total number of acres of land in farm operations in the district; the extent to which the district has achieved its objectives; the extent to which county and local plans, policies and objectives are consistent with and support the district; and the degree of coordination between local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations that apply to farm operations and their influence on farming. During this review, the district can be modified with the addition as well as removal of parcels and other modifications as determined from the review. Such reviews are extensive and involve several county and state agencies.
The most recent eight review was conducted in 2019-2020 at which time Greene County conducted a simultaneous Annual and Eight-Year review. Recommended modifications were certified by NYS Ag and Markets and are outlined in this report. The next eight-year review will be in 2027-2028.
Working closely with the County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board and the County Legislature, Greene County Economic Development Tourism & Planning manages all aspects of district creation, review and re-certification.
For More Information contact:
Greene County Department of Economic Development, Tourism & Planning
411 Main Street
Catskill, NY 12414
Phone: (518) 719-3290