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Agricultural Land

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NEWS
January 15, 2008
Colleen Cashell, executive director of the United States Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency in Washington County, has issued a reminder to foreign investors with an interest in agricultural lands in the United States that they are required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. "Any foreign person who acquires or transfers any interest, other than a security interest, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report the transaction no later than 90 days after the date of the transaction," Cashell said.
NEWS
April 30, 2009
Properties named Preservation Districts About 1,000 acres of Washington County land will be restricted to agricultural use for the next 10 years under agreements approved Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners. The commissioners approved nine properties for 10-year terms as County Agricultural Land Preservation Districts under a program established this year to replace a similar agricultural district program discontinued by the state. In exchange for not developing the properties, the land owners will not pay county property tax on their agricultural land or buildings and will receive a credit of up to $711 on their farmhouses, Agricultural Land Preservation Administrator Eric Seifarth said.
NEWS
November 15, 1997
By RICHARD F. BELISLE Staff Writer SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Barry Silverman and his wife moved to Shepherdstown four years ago, like many before them to trade city crowds for a more rural way of life. It didn't take long for what they tried to escape to catch up with them. The couple spends four-and-a-half hours in a daily commute to their jobs in the Washington, D.C., area. Sometimes at night, rather than cooking they walk to one of several downtown Shepherdstown restaurants for dinner.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | October 13, 2005
tarar@herald-mail.com A provision in a proposed Washington County agricultural preservation ordinance that would allow property owners to buy back the development rights of their land is drawing fire from the state. State and federal funding for agricultural land preservation "would likely be dramatically curtailed or eliminated" if the provision stands, according to information provided by the county. County Land Preservation Administrator Eric Seifarth told the County Commissioners at Tuesday's meeting that he recently received word of the state's position.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | August 30, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY - A Missouri consultant will design a program that would preserve agricultural land in Washington County and allow property owners to recover lost land value resulting from the limited development potential of their property. Three of the five County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to hire White & Smith LLC Planning and Law Group of Lee's Summit, Mo., for $42,955. The consultant will design a transferable development rights (TDR) program for the county. Two commissioners, Vice President William J. Wivell and John C. Munson, said they wanted the next board of commissioners to decide the issue.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | November 28, 2007
WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Pending changes to zoning maps in the Borough of Waynesboro and Washington Township, Pa., could affect property values, officials said Tuesday. Planning commission members from both municipalities held their monthly meeting with Spotts, Stevens and McCoy of Reading, Pa., an engineering firm developing a joint comprehensive plan for their future. The firm's latest presentations have included maps for land use, zoning, pedestrian/bicycle paths, community facilities and transportation.
NEWS
November 18, 2000
States ranked by enviromental group The Sierra Club, a national environmental organization, last year named Maryland the best state in the country at protecting its agricultural land. In the same rankings, Pennsylvania was ninth and West Virginia was last. The 1999 Sierra Club Sprawl Report considered, among other things, how well states are "keeping their farm lands in farmers' hands. " Scores of "very effective," "moderately effective" or "not effective" were given in eight categories.
NEWS
By GUY FLETCHER | June 23, 1998
by KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer enlargement Most of Washington County's farmland is not adequately protected by zoning regulations and government programs, making the open space vulnerable to commercial and residential development, according to a statewide report issued Monday. --cont from front page -- Of the county's agricultural land with quality soils, the study found that only 11 percent is protected through agricultural preservation districts, under which farmers temporarily agree not to develop their property in exchange for tax credits, report said.
NEWS
November 23, 2004
ANNAPOLIS - Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele honored Maryland's farm families for their commitment to farming and leadership in preserving agricultural land by presenting Century Farm designations Nov. 16 to eight families who have farmed the same land for more than 100 years. One of the farm families honored is from Washington County. Felfoot Farm, on Dogstreet Road near Keedysville, is a 406-acre corn, soybean and hay farm that also has produced a variety of livestock. Established in 1889, the farm is now owned by Austin A. Flook, Joanne M. Flook and Dwayne A. Flook.
NEWS
by DON AINES | August 11, 2004
chambersburg@herald-mail.com CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Preserving prime agricultural land from development and updating the county's aging emergency communications system are being considered by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners for inclusion in a $39 million bond issue. Since 1990, the county has purchased the development easements on more than 7,000 acres of farmland, but the cost has almost doubled over the years to an average of $1,900 an acre, said Phil Tarquino, the county's planning director.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By JEFF SEMLER | March 26, 2012
The role of the tenant farmer is to keep land open, in high fertility and weeds under control. This is a service to the landlord and the tenant's pay is the sale of his crops. While the tenant is caring for the land, the land is appreciating and the landlord will reap the benefit of this appreciation. If you say my tenant doesn't do that, then you need to have a talk with them. They are stewards of all land, both owned and rented. Secondly, by farming your land, your tax assessment as agricultural land is secure - rezoning by your own petition or that of a government body withstanding.
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NEWS
March 19, 2012
During a Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce GOP Congress candidate forum Monday, Del. Kathryn L. Afzali talked about going “nose to nose, toes to toes” as a campaigner. That nearly happened after she said during her closing statement that she has been praised for “passing bills that Senator (David) Brinkley tried for 20 years to pass.” Later, she told The Herald-Mail that she was referring to last year's bill to exempt agricultural land worth no more than $5 million from an estate tax. Afzali recruited Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, to push for the bill.
NEWS
April 30, 2009
Properties named Preservation Districts About 1,000 acres of Washington County land will be restricted to agricultural use for the next 10 years under agreements approved Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners. The commissioners approved nine properties for 10-year terms as County Agricultural Land Preservation Districts under a program established this year to replace a similar agricultural district program discontinued by the state. In exchange for not developing the properties, the land owners will not pay county property tax on their agricultural land or buildings and will receive a credit of up to $711 on their farmhouses, Agricultural Land Preservation Administrator Eric Seifarth said.
NEWS
January 15, 2008
Colleen Cashell, executive director of the United States Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency in Washington County, has issued a reminder to foreign investors with an interest in agricultural lands in the United States that they are required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. "Any foreign person who acquires or transfers any interest, other than a security interest, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report the transaction no later than 90 days after the date of the transaction," Cashell said.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | November 28, 2007
WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Pending changes to zoning maps in the Borough of Waynesboro and Washington Township, Pa., could affect property values, officials said Tuesday. Planning commission members from both municipalities held their monthly meeting with Spotts, Stevens and McCoy of Reading, Pa., an engineering firm developing a joint comprehensive plan for their future. The firm's latest presentations have included maps for land use, zoning, pedestrian/bicycle paths, community facilities and transportation.
NEWS
October 30, 2006
Washington County Commissioners Salary: $30,000 per year. President of the board makes $33,000 per year. Term: Four years The following questions were asked to the candidates for Washington County Commissioners. 1. Do you support charter home rule? Why or why not. 2. What can the county do to address the affordable housing issue? 3. What is your plan to preserve agricultural land? 4. Why should people vote for you? Kristin B. Aleshire, 31 Hagerstown Democrat 1. Although my personal opinion is that some form of home rule is the natural progression that a county should move toward over time, I support the decision of the will of the people that will ultimately, and rightly so, make this decision through their vote.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | August 30, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY - A Missouri consultant will design a program that would preserve agricultural land in Washington County and allow property owners to recover lost land value resulting from the limited development potential of their property. Three of the five County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to hire White & Smith LLC Planning and Law Group of Lee's Summit, Mo., for $42,955. The consultant will design a transferable development rights (TDR) program for the county. Two commissioners, Vice President William J. Wivell and John C. Munson, said they wanted the next board of commissioners to decide the issue.
NEWS
by ARNOLD S. PLATOU | March 7, 2006
Three area farm families are among the 11 farms Maryland honored recently by designating their lands as Century Farms. Gov. Robert Ehrlich, in ceremonies in Annapolis, recognized the families for their commitment to farming and leadership in preserving agricultural land. Each of the families has farmed the same ground for more than 100 years. "Maryland's farmers are the backbone of our economy," Ehrlich said. "The Century Farm families we honor today have played a significant role in making agriculture the leading industry in Maryland.
NEWS
by ROBERT SNYDER | February 24, 2006
martinsburg@herald-mail.com MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A bill that would limit the ability of county farmland protection boards to acquire properties received the endorsement of the Berkeley County Commission on Thursday. The commission voted 3-0 to support a bill, which originated the same day in the Senate Judiciary Committee, that would amend the Voluntary Farmland Protection Act and require farmland protection boards to obtain the approval of county commissions before buying property.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | January 11, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY tarar@herald-mail.com The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday stepped up efforts to permanently protect agricultural land from development, by joining forces with a nonprofit preservation group and also agreeing to hire a full-time land preservation planner. The County Commissioners voted unanimously to work with the Mid-Maryland Land Trust Association, which serves Washington and Frederick counties. The association, which began operating in February 2005, will work with landowners willing to donate easements to the county and also apply for grants to help pay for land preservation.
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