Agriculture and Markets Law Section 303-b was enacted in 2003 to provide for the designation of an annual 30-day period during which landowners may submit requests for the inclusion of predominately viable agricultural land into an existing certified agricultural district. Cattaraugus County has designated January 2 through January 31, 2021 as this 30-day period.
Landowners seeking inclusion into a certified agricultural district must submit a “Landowner Request for Inclusion” form to the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism by the January 31st deadline. To request a paper form, contact Patrick McGlew, at 716-938-2387 or email planning. Forms and information are available at: https://www.CattCo.org/planning/ag-development.
A public hearing will be scheduled at a later date to consider all inclusion requests and the related recommendations of the Cattaraugus County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board.
The Agricultural Districts Law was created in 1971 to encourage the continued use of farmland for agricultural production. The Program is based on a combination of landowner incentives and protections, all of which are designed to forestall the conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses. Benefits include protections against overly restrictive local laws, government funded acquisition or construction projects, and private nuisance suits involving agricultural practices.
As of January 1, 2019, 174 agricultural districts existed statewide, containing 25,673 farms.
Cattaraugus County has over 239,900 acres in its consolidated agricultural district.