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JAMESTOWN, N.Y.: – The Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development (CCDPD) facilitates the agricultural district program in Chautauqua County.  An agricultural district is a geographic area which consists predominantly of viable agricultural land.  Agricultural operations within the district are afforded benefits and protections to promote the continuation of farms and the preservation of agricultural land.

The first agricultural district was formed in Chautauqua County in 1972 with the last district forming in 1995, for a total of thirteen districts.  These districts were created when one or more landowners with at least 250 acres of land submitted a proposal according to New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Law (AML) to the County Legislature to form the district.  Over time, the AML was revised to include an 8-year review of the agricultural districts to evaluate the district and landowners could request to have their land added or removed from the district.

With 13 districts and a review required every 8 years for each individual district, the program was difficult to manage and hard for landowners to understand.  In 2010, the CCDPD started consolidating agricultural districts to streamline the program.  This made it easier for the County to implement the program as well as easier for landowners to understand.  In 2022, the CCDPD finalized the last set of district consolidations.  The State approved the final Chautauqua County consolidated agricultural districts in May of 2022.

The consolidated districts and next 8-year review are as follows:

  • District 7 (2023): Towns of Clymer, French Creek, Harmony, North Harmony, Mina and Sherman.
  • District 8 (2025): Towns of Busti, Carroll, Chautauqua, Ellery, Ellicott, Kiantone, Poland and Stockton; and City of Jamestown.
  • District 10 (2027): Towns of Arkwright, Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Ellington, Gerry and Villenova.
  • District 1 (2029): Towns of Dunkirk, Hanover, Pomfret, Portland, Ripley, Sheridan and Westfield; and City of Dunkirk.

For more information on the Agricultural Districts 8-year review process, please visit https://planningchautauqua.com/planning/afpb/ag-dist-review/, or contact Lauren Sharp at (716) 661-8245 or sharpl@chqgov.com.