District that prohibits (or subjects to conditions and limitations) non-agricultural uses. Permits use accessory to farming – usually for large lots – 25 to 100 acres.
Protect and promote farming in areas with prime soils where farming is still a viable part of local economy, principally by stemming market pressures for other uses and maintaining contiguous land areas large enough for farming.
- Over time, flexibility is needed as agricultural markets change and this may be difficult to manage.
- Special permit uses, which provide some flexibility, can gradually erode integrity of agricultural area.
- Economic benefits both to landowners (land value, tax assessment) and community (tax revenue, net cost to service) need to be quantified.
- Political challenges of restricting development potential for land owners.
- Cooperation among landowners likely.
- Cooperation may have to be inter-municipal.
- Complementary to a larger smart growth pattern that directs development to designated growth areas.
- More beneficial to local economy/fiscal health than sprawl, which is more infrastructure-and-service-intensive.
- Can protect local open space natural resources from impacts of development.