303-b. Agricultural districts; inclusion of viable agricultural land. 1. The legislative body of any county containing a certified agricultural district shall designate an annual thirty-day period within which a land owner may submit to such body a request for inclusion of land which is predominantly viable agricultural land within a certified agricultural district prior to the county established review period. Such request shall identify the agricultural district into which the land is proposed to be included, describe such land, and include the tax map identification number and relevant portion of the tax map for each parcel of land to be included.
2. Upon the termination of such thirty-day period, if any requests are submitted, the county legislative body shall:
a. refer such request or requests to the county agricultural and farmland protection board, which shall, within thirty days report to the county legislative body its recommendations as to whether the land to be included in the agricultural district consists predominantly of "viable agricultural land" as defined in subdivision seven of section three hundred one of this article and the inclusion of such land would serve the public interest by assisting in maintaining a viable agricultural industry within the district; and
b. publish a notice of public hearing in accordance with subdivision three of this section.
3. The county legislative body shall hold a public hearing upon giving notice in the following manner:
a. The notice of public hearing shall contain a statement that one or more requests for inclusion of predominantly viable agricultural land within a certified agricultural district have been filed with the county legislative body pursuant to this section; identify the land, generally, proposed to be included; indicate the time, date and place of the public hearing, which shall occur after receipt of the report of the county agricultural and farmland protection board; and include a statement that the hearing shall be held to consider the request or requests and recommendations of the county agricultural and farmland protection board.
b. The notice shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation within the county and shall be given in writing directly to those municipalities whose territory encompasses the lands which are proposed to be included in an agricultural district and to the commissioner.
4. After the public hearing, the county legislative body shall adopt or reject the inclusion of the land requested to be included within an existing certified agricultural district. Such action shall be taken no later than one hundred twenty days from the termination of the thirty day period described in subdivision one of this section. Any land to be added shall consist of whole tax parcels only. Upon the adoption of a resolution to include predominantly viable agricultural land, in whole or in part, within an existing certified agricultural district, the county legislative body shall submit the resolution, together with the report of the county agricultural and farmland protection board and the tax map identification numbers and tax maps for each parcel of land to be included in an agricultural district to the commissioner.
5. Within thirty days after receipt of a resolution to include land within a district, the commissioner shall certify to the county legislative body whether the inclusion of predominantly viable agricultural land as proposed is feasible and shall serve the public interest by assisting in maintaining a viable agricultural industry within the district or districts.
6. If the commissioner certifies that the proposed inclusion of predominantly viable agricultural land within a district is feasible and in the public interest, the land shall become part of the district immediately upon such certification.
Last modified: February 3, 2019