Orange County NC Website
1 <br /> ORANGE COUNTY <br /> BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT <br /> Meeting Date: February 2, 2021 <br /> Action Agenda <br /> Item No. 8-e <br /> SUBJECT: Voluntary Agricultural District Designation: Multiple Farms <br /> DEPARTMENT: DEAPR — Soil and Water <br /> Conservation <br /> ATTACHMENT(S): <br /> Overall County Map, Applications and INFORMATION CONTACT: <br /> Maps David Stancil, (919) 245-2510 <br /> Peter Sandbeck, (919) 245-2517 <br /> PURPOSE: To approve applications from ten (10) landowners/farms to certify qualifying <br /> farmland within the Caldwell, Cane Creek/Buckhorn, Cedar Grove, and Schley/Eno Voluntary <br /> Agricultural Districts; and enroll the lands in the Orange County Farmland Preservation <br /> Program's Voluntary Agricultural District program. <br /> BACKGROUND: Orange County's Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program was started in <br /> 1992. To date there are 123 farms; in both the Voluntary Agricultural District (VAD) and the <br /> Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural District (EVAD) program; totaling 15,531* acres. <br /> The County's Voluntary Farmland Protection Ordinance (VFPO) outlines a procedure for the <br /> Agricultural Preservation Board to review and approve applications for qualifying farmland, and <br /> to make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners concerning the establishment and <br /> modification of agricultural districts. Section VII of the VFPO contains the requirements for <br /> inclusion in a voluntary agricultural district. To be certified as qualifying farmland, a farm must: <br /> a) Be located in the unincorporated area of Orange County; <br /> b) Be engaged in Agriculture as that word is defined in NC GS 106-581.1 <br /> c) Be certified by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the United States Department of <br /> Agriculture as being a farm on which at least two-thirds of the land is composed of soils that are best suited for <br /> providing food, seed, fiber, forage, timber,forestry products, horticultural crops and oil seed crops; <br /> d) Be managed in accordance with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and NC Soil and Water <br /> Conservation Service defined erosion-control practices that are addressed to said highly-erodible land; and <br /> have a current conservation farm plan and/or forestry management plan associated with the current usages <br /> and owner; <br /> e) Be the subject of a non-binding conservation agreement, as defined in N.C.G.S. §121-35, between the County <br /> and the owner that prohibits non-farm use or development of such land for a period of at least ten years, except <br /> for the creation of not more than three lots that meet applicable County zoning and subdivision regulations. <br /> The Orange County Agricultural Preservation Board reviewed the findings of the staff <br /> assessments for the attached applications for the Orange County Voluntary Agricultural District <br /> program at its regular meetings in September and November, 2020. All farm applications were <br />