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The main difference is the acreage requirement. Local districts must be a minimum of 20 acres, State districts 200 acres.
The minimum size for Local A&F districts is 20 acres of contiguous land. This requirement can not be waived.
Properties included in an A&F District qualify for reduced land use taxes.
Local A&F Districts are established for an 8-year term. Once the district is established, if the land is removed before the term is up, the property is subject to a tax penalty and rollback taxes for the past five years.
Although A&F applications are processed through the Zoning Evaluation Division in the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), they are not zoning cases. A&F Districts are evaluated in two parts:
- the land use portion of the application is processed through DPD
- and the land use tax evaluation portion is processed through the Department of Tax Administration (DTA).
DPD 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.
Once the staff reviews are complete, a staff report is written. The report then goes to the Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee (AFDAC) for review, and the AFDAC makes their recommendation to the Fairfax County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. The Planning Commission then makes their own recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors then adopts or denies the proposed district.