Presentation on theme: "Presented by Nan Stolzenburg, AICP CEP. Hopefully, Your Plan… Provided an opportunity to engage farmers. Sets stage for support of local farms. Articulates."— Presentation transcript:
Hopefully, Your Plan… Provided an opportunity to engage farmers. Sets stage for support of local farms. Articulates why town should support agriculture. Offers local farmland protection and agricultural economic development strategies. Identifies critical lands to be protected for ag. If not, consider going back and doing an update to address these!
Part I: First Steps to Implement Plan Town Board must take initiative Make all Plan ‘tools’ available Put plan/maps online, in libraries, available to the public Copies to Planning Board, ZBA, CAC, Ag Commission, etc Put large scale paper maps or via computer at Town Hall Town Board appoint an Agriculture Commission Town Board establishe annual plan of work for Ag Commission
Town Board’s First Steps … Annual Plan of Work Should: Identify priority strategies to accomplish first year, Establish budget, if needed, Assign tasks to members/other stakeholders, Set time frames for tasks to be completed Set benchmarks and identify work products
An Agricultural Committee is Key Ag Committee’s first task is to implement ag related actions Ag Commission must have written duties and responsibilities and time frames (from Town Board) Must collaborate with and report regularly to Town Board Ag Committee should be the local voice for advocating farm interests
Major Roles of the Ag Commission Provides visibility for farming in Town Conducts activities to recognize & promote agriculture, ag economic opportunities and protect farmland Advises planning board, ZBA, local agencies in review of projects, programs, laws Coordinates activities with others Hires consultants and contractors, as needed Receive gifts of money or writes grants to carry out its purpose.
Getting Started… Make checklist of agricultural implementation actions from Plan Organize by Regulatory, Programmatic, Capital Improvement, and Infrastructure categories Set Time Frames, Establish sub-committee’s, make assignments Hold regular meetings, advertise work, quickly accomplish several doable actions to show progress
Part II – Effective Land Use Laws Insert Agriculture in Purpose Statements Definitions Use Schedule Dimension Requirements District Standards Siting Standards Procedures Being Farm Friendly and Effective means agriculture must be integrated into the entire zoning law.
Land Use Law Should Have… Purpose statements tied to the goals of Comprehensive Plan and that elevate role of agriculture in community Definitions of the many related terms such as farm, farmland, agri-tourism, ag-business, roadside stand, etc. Use table that allows agricultural uses in more than 1 zoning district and ag-support businesses Standards that allow for farm business flexibility
Land Use Law Should Have… Exemptions from: height restrictions, building footprint limitations, lot coverage, setbacks, yard requirements for farms. Buffers between farm and non-farm uses (where new non-farm use is responsible) Low density residential use, use average lot sizes (2, 3, 5 acre density is not always low enough) Siting non-farm use away from prime farmland soils or critical farmland areas
Enhancing Review Procedures… Include agricultural resource information on required site plans and special use applications (put agriculture at same level for review as wetlands, streams, other environmental features). Ask for NYS Ag District status, whether ag is taking place, farmland soils, etc. Require Ag Data Statement as per NYS AML 25- aa. Add Ag Disclosure Statement on Plat or Site Plan (don’t rely on real estate agents)
Ask the Right Questions… See Handout - Do you ask these questions? Does your zoning, site plan, special use permit or subdivision laws give the Planning Board or ZBA enough information as part of the project review process to answer these questions? Do these laws elevate agriculture to the same level of importance of say, wetlands, floodplains, viewsheds? If not, amend local laws to make sure they do!
For More Information Contact: Nan Stolzenburg, AICP CEP Principal Planner Community Planning & Environmental Associates 518-872-9753 www.planningbetterplaces.com