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Agriculture Preservation AP Agriculture Preservation AP Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit.

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Presentation on theme: "Agriculture Preservation AP Agriculture Preservation AP Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit."— Presentation transcript:

1 Agriculture Preservation AP Agriculture Preservation AP Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit

2 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Loss of Agricultural Lands to Development Images used with permission from Julie Campoli and Alex MacLean Shelburne Road, South Burlington, Vermont 1930’s1995

3 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Maintain Active Farming in Massachusetts

4 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Agricultural Preservation Tools Chapter 61A Agricultural Commissions Agricultural Preservation Restrictions (APRs) Community Gardens Right to Farm Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Community Preservation Act (CPA)

5 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Chapter 61A —The Chapter 61 Program provides a tax break to owners of recreational, forest or agricultural lands as long as the land remains in the specified use. Agricultural Preservation Tools Specific information regarding how these incentives are calculated and which lands can qualify can be found in the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Division of Local Services Property Tax Bureau’s “Taxpayer’s Guide to Classification and Taxation of Agricultural/Horticultural Land in Massachusetts” Brochure dated October 1997.

6 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Agricultural Commissions These commissions are formed by passing a local bylaw and serve as advocates for local farms. Thirty-six existing commissions as of summer of 2005 Responsibilities can include: protecting farmland providing assistance for natural resource management providing visibility for local farmers assisting local boards with community development decisions. More information on this program can be found on the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources website at : Agricultural Preservation Tools

7 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Agricultural Preservation Restrictions (APRs) This program is designed to protect the most productive agricultural lands in the Commonwealth and establishes permanent deed restrictions on agricultural lands protecting them from any use that might diminish the area’s agricultural potential. Agricultural Preservation Tools

8 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Community Gardens Community garden programs have been successfully developed in cities such as Somerville and Lowell and provide residents with an opportunity to grow food or horticultural varieties in heavily urbanized settings. Agricultural Preservation Tools

9 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Farm Viability Enhancement Program Comprehensive plans developed by farmers and other agricultural, economic and environmental consultants used to increase on-farm income through improved management practices, diversification, direct marketing, value- added initiatives and agritourism. Agricultural Preservation Tools

10 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Agricultural Preservation Tools agricultural lands Owner of “sending” parcel sells development rights in exchange for permanent conservation easement. Owner of “receiving” parcel buys development rights to build at densities higher than allowed under base zoning. growth area Transfer of Development Rights (TDR)

11 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Right to Farm Bylaw The Right to Farm is vested in all residents of the Commonwealth under Article 97 of the state Constitution. Clearly states the priorities of the community relative to fostering agricultural activities and allowing farms to operate "with minimal conflict with abutters and Town agencies" (Massachusetts Attorney General). Establishes the notification procedure for informing all residents of the Town of the community's status as a Right to Farm entity. Agricultural Preservation Tools

12 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Other Zoning Protections Mandatory Cluster Design or Open Space Residential Design for agricultural lands being converted to residential use. True large-lot zoning with a range of 10-acre to 25-acre minimum lot size Transfer of Development Rights program can establish a higher “transfer density” than what is allowed for development. Example… Agricultural Preservation Tools Developable Density1 unit per 10 acres Transferable Density1 unit per 2 acres

13 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation Agricultural Preservation Tools Community Preservation Act (CPA) Communities vote to add a surcharge to local property tax surcharge between 0.5% and 3%. Local revenues are matched with state funds. Up to 80% of the total revenues can be allocated to open space preservation. Over 100 communities have adopted the CPA!

14 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation CASE STUDY Town of Dartmouth Agricultural Commission Funding from an override was used to match other state-level sources to place an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) on thousands of acres.

15 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation CASE STUDY Somerville Community Growing Center Local initiatives in the city have created the Somerville Community Growing Center (SCGC). These gardens are managed by volunteer Garden Coordinators who assign plots on a first-come first-served basis. The SCGC is located on a ¼-acre parcel and has become much more than a community garden, offering both educational and cultural performance programs.

16 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation CASE STUDY Montgomery County Maryland Local Transfer of Development Rights Program made 90,000 acres of farmland eligible for TDR. To date, more than 40,000 acres of farmland are permanently preserved with this technique. “Receiving Area” can accommodate higher levels of development density “Sending Area” identified as high priority agricultural lands

17 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation USEFUL LINKS: Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) homepage contains further links to state and local-level programs including: Agricultural Preservation Restrictions Farm Viability Enhancement Program Right to Farm Agricultural Commissions Community Preservation Act website 01.pdf A Fact Sheet from the Farmland Information Center, a public/private partnership between the American Farmland Trust and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

18 Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Agricultural Preservation USEFUL LINKS: government.cce.cornell.edu/doc/html/Transfer%20of%20Develo pment%20Rights%20Programs.htm TDR Programs: Using the Market for Compensation and Preservation, a paper written by Jason Hanly-Forde, George Homsy, Katherine Lieberknecht, Remington Stone that gives a good overview of this technique. Transfer of Development Rights Report, a study produced for the South County Watershed Technical Planning Assistance Project by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. It is one of several reports about creative land use techniques to accommodate growth while minimizing impacts to the environment and community character. Pinelands Development Credit Bank webpage from the NJ Department of Banking and Credit gives information about a program begun in 1985 which has helped increase the value of development rights and assisted owners in selling their land.


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