Farmland Preservation

Farmland Preservation Plan

Farm GraphicOverview of Farmland Preservation Planning and Zoning Process


The purpose of this project is to prepare a full update to the 1988 Columbia County Farmland Preservation Plan and to the agricultural zoning districts(s) that implement the recommendations of the updated Plan. The County received a grant from the State Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for the plan update. The County has contracted with Vandewalle & Associates and MD Roffers Consulting to assist with the plan update.

The County has just adopted a comprehensive revision to its Zoning Ordinance. During the development of this code it was the understanding that Agricultural Zoning Districts that were tweaked in the Columbia County Zoning Ordinance - adopted March, 2012 would be revisited in conjunction with the Farmland Preservation Plan update. An updated Farmland Preservation Plan, zoning language and maps must be certifed by DATCP and adopted by the County and Towns by the end of 2013 or Columbia County farmers risk the loss of Farmland Preservation tax credits.

County staff and the consultants will be assisted by the Columbia County Farmland Preservation Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will guide which direction the County's Farmland Preservation program should take, help interpret town and other stakeholder input and provide policy direction for the updated plan document and zoning approaches. The Steering Committee includes the full County Planning and Zoning Committee which also has the legal role of recommending the plan and ordinance changes to the County Board near the end of the process. Other key players in the process include the towns and DATCP; both need to approve certain products.

  - Note that information is current as of date indicated on document or map-