The landowner must have at least 10 acres of forested land commercially harvested, and must have a Forest Management and Harvest Plan. Approved Minutes 2010; Agendas 2012. fax: (207) 338 – 6024, Belfast & Gallery: However your community handles land use review, your ordinance provisions should be sufficiently flexible to allow farmers to grow and diversify their businesses, including pursuing season-extension strategies, renewable energy opportunities, direct marketing, value-added product development, and agri-tourism. This income can be derived by the owner or by a lessee. Below are some specific ideas your community can consider to help create a supportive regulatory environment for farming. Are on-site sales ok? Though it makes sense to promote leasing of suitable farmland that is already owned by towns or land trusts, Maine Farmland Trust generally discourages towns or land trusts from buying farmland specifically for the purpose of leasing that land back to farmers. For information about Maine’s Voluntary Municipal Farm Support Program (VMFSP), contact the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Farmland Protection Program. In addition to regulating solar farms, the proposed ordinance also creates a habitat mitigation fee for the use, based on the Natural Areas Plan. MFT is certified by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Municipal Action: Local Policies and Ordinances. Chicken keepers in Louisiana are subject to various local laws and ordinances. The effect of such easements is to boost the farm’s profitability, while the community protects farmland without having to raise capital to purchase easements. What would cause me to be ineligible or disqualified from the program. Land protected with an easement remains in private ownership and is still subject to property taxes (though often at a lower assessed value). Do you want to create categories of animal units (AU) by weight with examples or try to list every type of animal that may possibly show up (Note- one AU is typically 1000 pounds). Some ideas to consider include: An agricultural overlay district are typically identified and delineated on the basis of productive agricultural soils and contiguous areas of active farms. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Selectboard's Agendas and Minutes. Fortunately, Maine has options that can help landowners reduce their property tax liability through its current use tax programs (Farmland, Open Space, Tree Growth) or the Voluntary Municipal Farm Support Program. Applications are due to local tax assessors by April 1. If your community has zoning other than shoreland zoning, make sure those areas of town with important farming soils are designated as rural or critical rural areas and are not targeted for growth. Several municipalities in Maine have recently revised their local ordinances to allow for backyard chickens or small livestock, so there are several examples and approaches a community can consider. The ordinance amendment is championed by the Topsham Solar … Enact a local Right to Farm ordinance that affirms the town’s commitment to agriculture and identifies farming as an accepted and valued activity. The regulated area is proposed to be reduced to the vicinity of the Brunswick and Topsham Water District well on River Road. It is commonplace for a town to develop new ordinance language after updating its comprehensive plan, so that any new policies included in the plan are articulated in the ordinance. ARTICLE 13: Mallet Woods Subdivision Road Acceptances, ARTICLE 14: Oak Hill Subdivision Road Acceptances, ARTICLE 15: Cost Recovery for Fire Based Emergency Response Services, Celebrating 250 years on the Androscoggin, ~ 100 Main Street Topsham, ME 04086 Phone (207)725-5821 Fax (207)725-1731 ~. Occasionally, a farmer or landowner without immediate plans to sell or development a property with good farm soils is willing to consider at “term easement” or non-permanent conservation easement – usually for 20 or 30 years. Information about the Topsham office is here. Society Grandstand Roof RFP, Brunswick - Topsham Bridge Design Advisory Committee, Online Property and Personal Property Tax Payments, View Selectboard and Planning Board Meetings, Register for Parks and Recreation Programs, Reserve TPRD Facilities, Interactive Map (Current Zoning May Be Viewed Here), Conceptual Plan of Development for Expanded Area, solar 20200410_working_draft_Table_of_Use_Regulations.pdf, 20200514_Habitat_Mitigation_Fee_Map_12.pdf. This type of easement is usually initiated by the property owner or a land conservation organization, and does not have an acquisition cost associated with it. Provisions to conserve important farmland soils can also be included in the overlay district (see Conserving Important Farmland Soils). In such a district, the underlying district requirements remain in effect, except as modified by the overlay zone. United States Passports . supports farmers, and advances the future of farming. (Maine Revised Statutes Title 7, § 151-161). Most communities have land use ordinances covering the following types of activities: [Note: These activities may all be included in one consolidated land use ordinance, or may be separate ordinances]. Who enforces the ordinance provisions and what is the protocol for questions or complaints? Learn More. Your community’s subdivision ordinance should allow rural land to divided and developed in creative ways that can lessen negative impacts on farmland. Encourage development in downtowns and villages by allowing higher densities in those places where your community wants development – and where it makes the most sense. Ensuring that Maine’s best farm soils are going to be available for future generations will be perhaps the most important legacy of our time. How far should animal pens be from property lines? What do I need to do to qualify for General Assistance? Revisions are proposed to both the boundaries and performance standards of the Aquifer Protection Zone; the changes clarify the purpose of the district (to protect public water sources) and modernize the performance standards based on best management practices. As a result, many local ordinances do not accommodate the current needs of farmers. Download now. Any landowner with eligible land has the right to enroll in any of these programs. In many communities, existing municipal ordinances were created before these trends emerged. If your community is thinking about changing its local ordinances to allow in-town livestock, here are some things you should consider: Agriculture in Maine has seen some significant changes in recent years, with trends towards smaller, more diversified and innovative operations. The exhibit for this proposed amendment is listed last on this page. Read Cultivating Maine’s Agricultural Future, a guidebook for towns, land trusts, and farm supporters. Several municipalities in Maine have recently revised their local ordinances to allow for backyard chickens or small livestock, so there are several examples and approaches a community can consider. . Protected farmland will not only make it possible for farming to continue to support the local economy, but will also hold down future costs of community services while retaining open space and recreational opportunities. Local food is making a big comeback in Maine and more people are interested in growing their own food, including people who live right in the heart of Maine’s cities and villages.