Enacted in 1971, New York’s Agricultural Districts Law (ADL) is a very effective tool for maintaining lands in agriculture, and ensuring New York’s position as an outstanding agricultural state. The ADL recognizes that agricultural lands are important and irreplaceable resources, which are in jeopardy of being lost to as a result of increasing costs of agricultural businesses, development pressures and regulatory constraints. Agricultural Districts Law seeks to create economic and regulatory incentives which encourage farmers to continue farming. The ADL has two basic components, agricultural assessments for taxes and agricultural district creation and review.
The first agricultural district was in Sullivan County was established in 1975. The County currently has two agricultural districts, which cover approximately 250,000 acres.
Ag districts consist of viable agricultural lands, or, in other words, lands that are currently used for agriculture or may be used for agriculture in the future. Agricultural districts may include not just farm fields, but also residential, forested and commercial properties that are part of an agricultural enterprise.
Agricultural districts are not permanent, but instead change through time. Every year, from April 1st to April 30th, Sullivan County accepts applications from property owners who would like some or all of their land added to an agricultural district. The districts are also reviewed every eight years to ensure they reflect current land use. At that time land that has been developed, or is in any way no longer viable for agriculture, can be removed from the district.
To learn more about Sullivan County’s agricultural districts and the benefits they provide, please explore the links on the left side of this page.
Sullivan County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board
The Sullivan County Agriculture & Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) was established by the Sullivan County Legislature in accordance with Article 25AA §302 of NYS Agriculture and Markets Law. The purpose of the AFPB is to:
- Encourage farming and agricultural businesses in Sullivan County through local initiatives which create favorable conditions that allow farmers and related agri-business enterprises to operate economically viable enterprises;
- Advise the Sullivan County Legislature on establishing, modifying, continuing, or terminating agricultural districts;
- Review Notice of Intent filings pursuant to Agriculture and Markets Law 25AA §305.4 and §305-a;
- Advise and recommend concerning Purchase of Development Rights conservation easement applications to funding agencies; and
- Advise, Recommend, Develop, Maintain and Implement the Sullivan County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan.
For more information on board members and the County's Farmland Protection Plan please click here.
Agricultural Data Statement
Per § 305-a of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, any application for a special use permit, site plan approval, use variance, or subdivision approval requiring municipal review and approval that would occur on property within a New York State Certified Agricultural District containing a farm operation or property with boundaries within 500 feet of a farm operation located in an Agricultural District shall include an Agricultural Data Statement.
Click here for information on when to submit an Agricultural Data Statement
Click here for a pdf copy of the statement form
Agricultural District Legal Notice
SULLIVAN COUNTY AGRICULTURE & FARMLAND PROTECTION BOARD
April 1, 2023
NOTICE of 30-day Period for Public Review of an Agricultural District Pursuant to the Eight-Year Review of an Agricultural District
Notice is hereby given that Sullivan County Agricultural District #4, which includes lands in the Towns of Bethel, Highland, Fallsburg, Forestburgh, Liberty, Lumberland, Mamakating, Neversink, Rockland, Thompson and Tusten and the Villages of Bloomingburg and Wurtsboro, is undergoing its eight year review in accordance with Article 25-AA, Section 303-a New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.
Agricultural District #4 comprises 45,571 acres. A current map of the District is on file and open to public inspection in the following locations: Office of the Sullivan County Clerk, 100 North Street, Monticello New York; the Town of Bethel Town Hall, 3454 State Route 55, White Lake, New York; the Town of Fallsburg Town Hall, 19 Railroad Plaza, South Fallsburg, NY 12779; Town of Mamakating Town Hall, 2948 Route 209, Wurtsboro, NY 12790; and the Town of Thompson Town Hall, 4052 Route 42, Monticello New York.
Municipalities and landowners within the District may propose a modification of the District by filing such proposal with the Clerk of the Sullivan County Legislature within thirty days of the publication of this notice. All landowners who are currently enrolled in the District will be contacted by mail with a review form to be completed. Any landowner who wishes to be included in the District should contact the Melinda Meddaugh, Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County, 64 Ferndale Loomis Road, Liberty, NY 12754, by phone at 845-292-6180 x116 or by email at email@example.com. The eight year review will continue for the next several months, and a public hearing will be scheduled in June.