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Schenectady County sets hearing on farm protection

Schenectady County sets hearing on farm protection

Lands in Duanesburg and Princetown may be added to agriculture district
Schenectady County sets hearing on farm protection
Photographer: Shutterstock

SCHENECTADY COUNTY -- The Schenectady County Legislature will hold a public hearing April 1 on adding an additional 84 acres to the county's agricultural district, which offers government protections for land in agricultural use.

The county's Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board has recommended adding separate parcels in Princetown and Duanesburg to the district, which offers voluntary participants some protections for agricultural practices in return for the owners not developing on the properties. The county has nearly 20,000 acres under ag district protections, most of them in the western part of the county.

The proposed additions are a 67-acre property on Ennis Road in Princetown which has been used for commercial timber harvests and already falls under a state program to keep low assessments on working commercial forest, and a 17-acre parcel on Gallupville Road in Duanesburg that is pasture and woods. Last year crops were grown on one acre for an herb business, according to county officials.

The county reviews the ag district for additions or subtractions annually. The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. April 1 in the county legislative chambers in Schenectady. The County Legislature could vote on the proposed additions at its April 9 meeting.

There will also be a hearing at 7 p.m. that night on a proposed local law that would eliminate the current requirement that county employees be Schenectady County residents for a year before taking a county government job.

In addition to setting the public hearing dates, the County Legislature on Tuesday voted to buy 4.3 acres next to the sheriff's substation in Princetown for $260,000 to provide additional green space around the substation and adjoining Princetown Town Hall. Some of the land may be available for parking and the rest would be available for outdoor community events, county officials said.

The substation, Town Hall and green space property are all on Princetown Plaza, a cul-de-sac off Route 7 near Interstate-88.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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