Planning Division

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Regular hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday. Check the DPD Operating Status webpage for more information.

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 730
Fairfax, VA 22035

Leanna O'Donnell,

Agricultural and Forestal District Program

The Agricultural and Forestal (A&F) District program is designed to preserve and protect open spaces, forested areas, and agricultural lands in Fairfax County. The program allows property that meets certain criteria to be taxed on the use value of the land rather than the market value; in other words, the value of the land for growing crops, or in a conserved state, rather than as fully developed property. In exchange for the reduction in taxes, the property owners agree to abide by specific Ordinance Provisions adopted with the approval of their A&F District. The Provisions require all district owners to not intensify the use of their land for the life of the District, with exceptions for expansions or improvements to certain existing agricultural or forestal uses on the property. The Provisions also include requirements to comply with a Soil and Water Quality Management Plan, a Forest Management Plan, or other commitments to address specific environmental concerns, such as erosion control or endangered species management.

A&F Districts may either be of Statewide Significance or of Local Significance. The authority for the establishment of Local A&F districts is derived from Title 15.2, Chapter 43 of the Code of Virginia, entitled the "Local Agricultural and Forestal Districts Act". On June 30, 1983, Fairfax County enacted supplemental legislation governing A&F Districts within the County, which consisted of the following sections of the Fairfax County Code: Chapter 114, entitled "Agricultural and Forestal Districts of Statewide Significance Ordinance", and Chapter 115, entitled "Local Agricultural and Forestal Districts Ordinance". Local districts must be at least 20 acres in size, and are limited to ownership of a single family; statewide districts must be at least 200 acres in size, and can include unrelated owners. While designation as an Agricultural & Forestal District qualifies properties for use-value taxation, both types of districts must also apply separately with the Department of Tax Administration (DTA) for land use assessment for the specific agricultural and/or forestal uses, as required by Title 58.1, Chapter 32 of the Code of Virginia.

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