Orange County NC Website
1 <br /> ORANGE COUNTY <br /> BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT <br /> Meeting Date: June 7, 2022 <br /> Action Agenda <br /> Item No. 4-b <br /> SUBJECT: Voluntary Agricultural District Designation — Multiple Farms <br /> DEPARTMENT: DEAPR — Soil and Water <br /> Conservation <br /> ATTACHMENT(S): INFORMATION CONTACT: <br /> 1) Applications and Maps Jessica Perrin, (919) 245-2753 <br /> Peter Sandbeck, (919) 245-2517 <br /> PURPOSE: To consider applications from five (5) landowners/farms to certify qualifying farmland <br /> within the Caldwell, New Hope and Schley/Eno Voluntary Agricultural Districts; and enroll the <br /> lands in the Orange County Farmland Preservation Program's Voluntary Agricultural District <br /> program. <br /> BACKGROUND: Orange County's Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program was started in <br /> 1992. To date there are 138 farms in both the Voluntary Agricultural District (VAD) and the <br /> Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural District (EVAD) program — totaling 16,845 * 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 to <br /> 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 /> (1) Be located in the unincorporated area of Orange County; <br /> (2) Be used for bona fide farm purposes, as that term is defined in G.S. 106-743.4(a) and G.S. 160D-903; <br /> (3) Be in accordance with the minimum size requirements, which are as follows: <br /> (a) Consist of at least(i)one contiguous acre of land in production for horticultural or agricultural purposes; <br /> or(ii) at least twenty total acres of land under management for forestry; <br /> (b) In the event that a landowner has multiple tracts of qualifying farmland that are eligible, and those tracts <br /> are located within one mile or less of each other, then they may comprise a Voluntary Agricultural District. <br /> (4) Be managed in accordance with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and N.C. Division of Soil and <br /> Water Conservation defined erosion-control practices and have a current conservation farm plan and/or <br /> forestry management plan associated with the current usages and owner; and <br /> (5) Be the subject of a conservation agreement, as defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 121-35, between the County <br /> and the owner of such land that prohibits non-farm use or development of such land for a period of at least <br /> ten years, except for the creation of not more than three lots that meet applicable County zoning and <br /> subdivision regulations. <br />