Agricultural and Forestal District Program
What is the Agricultural and Forestal District Program?
Although A&F applications are processed through the Zoning Evaluation Division in the Department of Planning and Zoning, they are not zoning cases. A&F Districts are evaluated in two parts- the land use portion of the application is processed through DPZ, and the land use tax evaluation portion is processed through the Department of Tax Administration (DTA). DPZ and DTA coordinate on the establishment and regulation of these districts. For more information on DTA's role in the process, please visit their website.
The A&F District Program allows landowners whose property meets size requirements and A&F criteria to apply for a reduced land use tax rate in exchange for agreeing not to develop their land to any further intensity for the life of the district. The A&F designation does not change the zoning of a property; is a land use value assessment designation that is placed on the property so that a reduced tax rate can apply.
When a district comes in either as a new district or a renewal, various departments and agencies conduct a review. This includes site visits and the development of forest management and/or soil and water conservation plans. These plans become conditions that the applicant must abide by concerning environmentally sensitive areas, forest management and soil and water conservation plans, access to historical resources, and other related items.
Once the staff reviews are complete, a staff report is written. The report then goes to the A&F District Advisory Committee (AFDAC) for review, and the Committee makes their recommendation to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. The AFDAC is a committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors that makes recommendations on the establishment and renewal of A&F Districts. The AFDAC makes a recommendation to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors; the Planning Commission then makes a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. The Board then adopts or denies the proposed district.