300. Declaration of legislative findings and intent. 
 
It is hereby found and declared that many of the agricultural lands in New York state
 are in jeopardy of being lost for any agricultural purposes. When
 nonagricultural development extends into farm areas, competition for
 limited land resources results. Ordinances inhibiting farming tend to
 follow, farm taxes rise, and hopes for speculative gains discourage
 investments in farm improvements, often leading to the idling or
 conversion of potentially productive agricultural land.
 The socio-economic vitality of agriculture in this state is essential
 to the economic stability and growth of many local communities and the
 state as a whole. It is, therefore, the declared policy of the state to
 conserve, protect and encourage the development and improvement of its
 agricultural land for production of food and other agricultural
 products. It is also the declared policy of the state to conserve and
 protect agricultural lands as valued natural and ecological resources
 which provide needed open spaces for clean air sheds, as well as for
 aesthetic purposes.
 The constitution of the state of New York directs the legislature to
 provide for the protection of agricultural lands. It is the purpose of
 this article to provide a locally-initiated mechanism for the protection
 and enhancement of New York state's agricultural land as a viable
 segment of the local and state economies and as an economic and
 environmental resource of major importance.
 
 301. Definitions. 
 
When used in this article: 1. "Agricultural assessment value" means the value per acre assigned
 to land for assessment purposes determined pursuant to the capitalized
 value of production procedure prescribed by section three hundred four-a
 of this article.
 2. "Crops, livestock and livestock products" shall include but not be
 limited to the following:
 a. Field crops, including corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, hay,
 potatoes and dry beans.
 b. Fruits, including apples, peaches, grapes, cherries and berries.
 c. Vegetables, including tomatoes, snap beans, cabbage, carrots, beets
 and onions.
 d. Horticultural specialties, including nursery stock, ornamental
 shrubs, ornamental trees and flowers.
 e. Livestock and livestock products, including cattle, sheep, hogs,
 goats, horses, poultry, ratites, such as ostriches, emus, rheas and
 kiwis, farmed deer, farmed buffalo, fur bearing animals, wool bearing
 animals, such as alpacas and llamas, milk, eggs and furs.
 f. Maple sap.
 g. Christmas trees derived from a managed Christmas tree operation
 whether dug for transplanting or cut from the stump.
 h. Aquaculture products, including fish, fish products, water plants
 and shellfish.
 i. Woody biomass, which means short rotation woody crops raised for
 bioenergy, and shall not include farm woodland.
 j. Apiary products, including honey, beeswax, royal jelly, bee pollen,
 propolis, package bees, nucs and queens. For the purposes of this
 paragraph, "nucs" shall mean small honey bee colonies created from
 larger colonies including the nuc box, which is a smaller version of a
 beehive, designed to hold up to five frames from an existing colony.
 3. "Farm woodland" means land used for the production for sale of
 woodland products, including but not limited to logs, lumber, posts and
 firewood. Farm woodland shall not include land used to produce Christmas
 trees or land used for the processing or retail merchandising of
 woodland products.
 4. "Land used in agricultural production" means not less than seven
 acres of land used as a single operation in the preceding two years for
 the production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products of an
 average gross sales value of ten thousand dollars or more; or, not less
 than seven acres of land used in the preceding two years to support a
 commercial horse boarding operation with annual gross receipts of ten
 thousand dollars or more. Land used in agricultural production shall not
 include land or portions thereof used for processing or retail
 merchandising of such crops, livestock or livestock products. Land used
 in agricultural production shall also include:
 a. Rented land which otherwise satisfies the requirements for
 eligibility for an agricultural assessment.
 a-1. Land used by a not-for-profit institution for the purposes of
 agricultural research that is intended to improve the quality or
 quantity of crops, livestock or livestock products. Such land shall
 qualify for an agricultural assessment upon application made pursuant to
 paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section three hundred five of this
 article, except that no minimum gross sales value shall be required.
 b. Land of not less than seven acres used as a single operation for
 the production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products,
 exclusive of woodland products, which does not independently satisfy the
 gross sales value requirement, where such land was used in such
 production for the preceding two years and currently is being so used
 under a written rental arrangement of five or more years in conjunction
 with land which is eligible for an agricultural assessment.
 c. Land used in support of a farm operation or land used in
 agricultural production, constituting a portion of a parcel, as
 identified on the assessment roll, which also contains land qualified
 for an agricultural assessment.
 d. Farm woodland which is part of land which is qualified for an
 agricultural assessment, provided, however, that such farm woodland
 attributable to any separately described and assessed parcel shall not
 exceed fifty acres.
 e. Land set aside through participation in a federal conservation
 program pursuant to title one of the federal food security act of
 nineteen hundred eighty-five or any subsequent federal programs
 established for the purposes of replenishing highly erodible land which
 has been depleted by continuous tilling or reducing national surpluses
 of agricultural commodities and such land shall qualify for agricultural
 assessment upon application made pursuant to paragraph a of subdivision
 one of section three hundred five of this article, except that no
 minimum gross sales value shall be required.
 f. Land of not less than seven acres used as a single operation in the
 preceding two years for the production for sale of crops, livestock or
 livestock products of an average gross sales value of ten thousand
 dollars or more, or land of less than seven acres used as a single
 operation in the preceding two years for the production for sale of
 crops, livestock or livestock products of an average gross sales value
 of fifty thousand dollars or more.
 g. Land under a structure within which crops, livestock or livestock
 products are produced, provided that the sales of such crops, livestock
 or livestock products meet the gross sales requirements of paragraph f
 of this subdivision.
 h. Land that is owned or rented by a farm operation in its first or
 second year of agricultural production, or, in the case of a commercial
 horse boarding operation in its first or second year of operation, that
 consists of (1) not less than seven acres used as a single operation for
 the production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products of an
 annual gross sales value of ten thousand dollars or more; or (2) less
 than seven acres used as a single operation for the production for sale
 of crops, livestock or livestock products of an annual gross sales value
 of fifty thousand dollars or more; or (3) land situated under a
 structure within which crops, livestock or livestock products are
 produced, provided that such crops, livestock or livestock products have
 an annual gross sales value of (i) ten thousand dollars or more, if the
 farm operation uses seven or more acres in agricultural production, or
 (ii) fifty thousand dollars or more, if the farm operation uses less
 than seven acres in agricultural production; or (4) not less than seven
 acres used as a single operation to support a commercial horse boarding
 operation with annual gross receipts of ten thousand dollars or more.
 i. Land of not less than seven acres used as a single operation for
 the production for sale of orchard or vineyard crops when such land is
 used solely for the purpose of planting a new orchard or vineyard and
 when such land is also owned or rented by a newly established farm
 operation in its first, second, third or fourth year of agricultural
 production.
 j. Land of not less than seven acres used as a single operation for
 the production and sale of Christmas trees when such land is used solely
 for the purpose of planting Christmas trees that will be made available
 for sale, whether dug for transplanting or cut from the stump and when
 such land is owned or rented by a newly established farm operation in
 its first, second, third, fourth or fifth year of agricultural
 production.
 k. Land used to support an apiary products operation which is owned by
 the operation and consists of (i) not less than seven acres nor more
 than ten acres used as a single operation in the preceding two years for
 the production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products of an
 average gross sales value of ten thousand dollars or more or (ii) less
 than seven acres used as a single operation in the preceding two years
 for the production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products of
 an average gross sales value of fifty thousand dollars or more. The land
 used to support an apiary products operation shall include, but not be
 limited to, the land under a structure within which apiary products are
 produced, harvested and stored for sale; and a buffer area maintained by
 the operation between the operation and adjacent landowners.
 Notwithstanding any other provision of this subdivision, rented land
 associated with an apiary products operation is not eligible for an
 agricultural assessment based on this paragraph.
 5. "Oil, gas or wind exploration, development or extraction
 activities" means the installation and use of fixtures and equipment
 which are necessary for the exploration, development or extraction of
 oil, natural gas or wind energy, including access roads, drilling
 apparatus, pumping facilities, pipelines, and wind turbines.
 6. "Unique and irreplaceable agricultural land" means land which is
 uniquely suited for the production of high value crops, including, but
 not limited to fruits, vegetables and horticultural specialties.
 7. "Viable agricultural land" means land highly suitable for
 agricultural production and which will continue to be economically
 feasible for such use if real property taxes, farm use restrictions, and
 speculative activities are limited to levels approximating those in
 commercial agricultural areas not influenced by the proximity of
 non-agricultural development.
 8. "Conversion" means an outward or affirmative act changing the use
 of agricultural land and shall not mean the nonuse or idling of such
 land.
 9. "Gross sales value" means the proceeds from the sale of:
 a. Crops, livestock and livestock products produced on land used in
 agricultural production provided, however, that whenever a crop is
 processed before sale, the proceeds shall be based upon the market value
 of such crop in its unprocessed state;
 b. Woodland products from farm woodland eligible to receive an
 agricultural assessment, not to exceed two thousand dollars annually;
 c. Honey and beeswax produced by bees in hives located on an otherwise
 qualified farm operation but which does not independently satisfy the
 gross sales requirement;
 d. Maple syrup processed from maple sap produced on land used in
 agricultural production in conjunction with the same or an otherwise
 qualified farm operation;
 e. Or payments received by reason of land set aside pursuant to
 paragraph e of subdivision four of this section;
 f. Or payments received by thoroughbred breeders pursuant to section
 two hundred fifty-four of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding
 law; and
 g. Compost, mulch or other organic biomass crops as defined in
 subdivision sixteen of this section produced on land used in
 agricultural production, not to exceed five thousand dollars annually.
 11. "Farm operation" means the land and on-farm buildings, equipment,
 manure processing and handling facilities, and practices which
 contribute to the production, preparation and marketing of crops,
 livestock and livestock products as a commercial enterprise, including a
 "commercial horse boarding operation" as defined in subdivision thirteen
 of this section, "timber processing" as defined in subdivision fourteen
 of this section and "compost, mulch or other biomass crops" as defined
 in subdivision sixteen of this section. For purposes of this section,
 such farm operation shall also include the production, management and
 harvesting of "farm woodland", as defined in subdivision three of this
 section. Such farm operation may consist of one or more parcels of owned
 or rented land, which parcels may be contiguous or noncontiguous to each
 other.
 12. "Agricultural data statement" means an identification of farm
 operations within an agricultural district located within five hundred
 feet of the boundary of property upon which an action requiring
 municipal review and approval by the planning board, zoning board of
 appeals, town board, or village board of trustees pursuant to article
 sixteen of the town law or article seven of the village law is proposed,
 as provided in section three hundred five-a of this article.
 13. "Commercial horse boarding operation" means an agricultural
 enterprise, consisting of at least seven acres and boarding at least ten
 horses, regardless of ownership, that receives ten thousand dollars or
 more in gross receipts annually from fees generated either through the
 boarding of horses or through the production for sale of crops,
 livestock, and livestock products, or through both such boarding and
 such production. Under no circumstances shall this subdivision be
 construed to include operations whose primary on site function is horse
 racing. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subdivision, a
 commercial horse boarding operation that is proposed or in its first or
 second year of operation may qualify as a farm operation if it is an
 agricultural enterprise, consisting of at least seven acres, and
 boarding at least ten horses, regardless of ownership, by the end of the
 first year of operation.
 14. "Timber processing" means the on-farm processing of timber grown
 on a farm operation into woodland products, including but not limited to
 logs, lumber, posts and firewood, through the use of a readily moveable,
 nonpermanent saw mill, provided that such farm operation consists of at
 least seven acres and produces for sale crops, livestock or livestock
 products of an annual gross sales value of ten thousand dollars or more
 and that the annual gross sales value of such processed woodland
 products does not exceed the annual gross sales value of such crops,
 livestock or livestock products.
 15. "Agricultural tourism" means activities conducted by a farmer
 on-farm for the enjoyment or education of the public, which primarily
 promote the sale, marketing, production, harvesting or use of the
 products of the farm and enhance the public's understanding and
 awareness of farming and farm life.
 * 16. "Apiary products operation" means an agricultural enterprise,
 consisting of land owned by the operation, upon which bee hives are
 located and maintained for the purpose of producing, harvesting and
 storing apiary products for sale.
 * NB There are 2 sb 16's
 * 16. "Compost, mulch or other organic biomass crops" means the
 on-farm processing, mixing, handling or marketing of organic matter that
 is grown or produced by such farm operation to rid such farm operation
 of its excess agricultural waste; and the on-farm processing, mixing or
 handling of off-farm generated organic matter that is transported to
 such farm operation and is necessary to facilitate the composting of
 such farm operation's agricultural waste. This shall also include the
 on-farm processing, mixing or handling of off-farm generated organic
 matter for use only on that farm operation. Such organic matter shall
 include, but not be limited to, manure, hay, leaves, yard waste, silage,
 organic farm waste, vegetation, wood biomass or by-products of
 agricultural products that have been processed on such farm operation.
 The resulting products shall be converted into compost, mulch or other
 organic biomass crops that can be used as fertilizers, soil enhancers or
 supplements, or bedding materials. For purposes of this section,
 "compost" shall be processed by the aerobic, thermophilic decomposition
 of solid organic constituents of solid waste to produce a stable,
 humus-like material.
                           NB There are 2 sb 16's
                            
 302. County agricultural and farmland protection board. 
 
1. (a) A county legislative body may establish a county agricultural and farmland
 protection board which shall consist of eleven members, at least four of
 whom shall be active farmers. At least one member of such board shall
 represent agribusiness and one member may represent an organization
 dedicated to agricultural land preservation. These six members of the
 board shall reside within the county which the respective board serves.
 The members of the board shall also include the chairperson of the
 county soil and water conservation district's board of directors, a
 member of the county legislative body, a county cooperative extension
 agent, the county planning director and the county director of real
 property tax services. The chairperson shall be chosen by majority vote.
 Such board shall be established in the event no such board exists at the
 time of receipt by the county legislative body of a petition for the
 creation or review of an agricultural district pursuant to section three
 hundred three of this article, or at the time of receipt by the county
 of a notice of intent filing pursuant to subdivision four of section
 three hundred five of this article. The members of such board shall be
 appointed by the chairperson of the county legislative body, who shall
 solicit nominations from farm membership organizations except for the
 chairperson of the county soil and water conservation district's board
 of directors, the county planning director and director of real property
 tax services, who shall serve ex officio. The members shall serve
 without salary, but the county legislative body may entitle each such
 member to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in
 the performance of official duties.
 (b) After the board has been established, the chairperson of the
 county legislative body shall appoint to it two qualified persons for
 terms of two years each, two qualified persons for terms of three years
 each and two qualified persons for a term of four years. Thereafter, the
 appointment of each member shall be for a term of four years.
 Appointment of a member of the county legislative body shall be for a
 term coterminous with the member's term of office. Appointment of the
 county planning director and county director of real property tax
 services shall be coterminous with their tenure in such office. The
 appointment of the chairperson of the county soil and water conservation
 district's board of directors shall be for a term coterminous with his
 or her designation as chairperson of the county soil and water
 conservation district's board of directors. Any member of the board may
 be reappointed for a succeeding term on such board without limitations
 as to the number of terms the member may serve.
 (c) The county agricultural and farmland protection board shall advise
 the county legislative body and work with the county planning board in
 relation to the proposed establishment, modification, continuation or
 termination of any agricultural district. The board shall render expert
 advice relating to the desirability of such action, including advice as
 to the nature of farming and farm resources within any proposed or
 established area and the relation of farming in such area to the county
 as a whole. The board may review notice of intent filings pursuant to
 subdivision four of section three hundred five of this article and make
 findings and recommendations pursuant to that section as to the effect
 and reasonableness of proposed actions involving the advance of public
 funds or acquisitions of farmland in agricultural districts by
 governmental entities. The board shall also assess and approve county
 agricultural and farmland protection plans.
 (d) A county agricultural and farmland protection board may request
 the commissioner of agriculture and markets to review any state agency
 rules and regulations which the board identifies as affecting the
 agricultural activities within an existing or proposed agricultural
 district. Upon receipt of any such request, the commissioner of
 agriculture and markets shall, if the necessary funds are available,
 submit in writing to the board (i) notice of changes in such rules and
 regulations which he or she deems necessary, (ii) a copy of
 correspondence with another agency if such rules and regulations are
 outside his or her jurisdiction, including such rules and regulations
 being reviewed, and his or her recommendations for modification, or
 (iii) his or her reasons for determining that existing rules and
 regulations be continued without modification.
 (e) The county agricultural and farmland protection board shall notify
 the commissioner and the commissioner of the department of environmental
 conservation of any attempts to propose the siting of solid waste
 management facilities upon farmland within an agricultural district.
 2. Upon the request of one or more owners of land used in agricultural
 production the board may review the land classification for such land
 established by the department of agriculture and markets, consulting
 with the district soil and water conservation office, and the county
 cooperative extension service office. After such review, the board may
 recommend revisions to the classification of specific land areas based
 on local soil, land and climatic conditions to the department of
 agriculture and markets.
 
 303. Agricultural districts; creation. 
 
1. Any owner or owners of
 land may submit a proposal to the county legislative body for the
 creation of an agricultural district within such county, provided that
 such owner or owners own at least five hundred acres or at least ten per
 cent of the land proposed to be included in the district, whichever is
 greater. Such proposal shall be submitted in such manner and form as may
 be prescribed by the commissioner, shall include a description of the
 proposed district, including a map delineating the exterior boundaries
 of the district which shall conform to tax parcel boundaries, and the
 tax map identification numbers for every parcel in the proposed
 district. The proposal may recommend an appropriate review period of
 either eight, twelve or twenty years.
 2. Upon the receipt of such a proposal, the county legislative body:
 a. shall thereupon provide notice of such proposal by publishing a
 notice in a newspaper having general circulation within the proposed
 district and by posting such notice in five conspicuous places within
 the proposed district. The notice shall contain the following
 information:
 (1) a statement that a proposal for an agricultural district has been
 filed with the county legislative body pursuant to this article;
 (2) a statement that the proposal will be on file open to public
 inspection in the county clerk's office;
 (3) a statement that any municipality whose territory encompasses the
 proposed district or any landowner who owns at least ten per cent of the
 land proposed to be included within the proposed modification of the
 proposed district may propose a modification of the proposed district in
 such form and manner as may be prescribed by the commissioner of
 agriculture and markets;
 (4) a statement that the proposed modification must be filed with the
 county clerk and the clerk of the county legislature within thirty days
 after the publication of such notice;
 (5) a statement that at the termination of the thirty day period, the
 proposal and proposed modifications will be submitted to the county
 planning board and county agricultural and farmland protection board and
 that thereafter a public hearing will be held on the proposal, proposed
 modifications and recommendations of the planning board and county
 agricultural and farmland protection board;
 b. shall receive any proposals for modifications of such proposal
 which may be submitted by such landowners or municipalities within
 thirty days after the publication of such notice;
 c. shall, upon the termination of such thirty day period, refer such
 proposal and proposed modifications to the county planning board, which
 shall, within forty-five days, report to the county legislative body the
 potential effect of such proposal and proposed modifications upon the
 county's planning policies and objectives;
 d. shall simultaneously, upon the termination of such thirty day
 period, refer such proposal and proposed modifications to the county
 agricultural and farmland protection board, which shall, within
 forty-five days report to the county legislative body its
 recommendations concerning the proposal and proposed modifications, and;
 e. shall hold a public hearing in the following manner:
 (1) The hearing shall be held at a place within the proposed district
 or otherwise readily accessible to the proposed district;
 (2) The notice shall contain the following information:
 (a) a statement of the time, date and place of the public hearing;
 (b) a description of the proposed district, any proposed additions and
 any recommendations of the county planning board or county agricultural
 and farmland protection board;
 (c) a statement that the public hearing will be held concerning:
 (i) the original proposal;
 (ii) any written amendments proposed during the thirty day review
 period;
 (iii) any recommendations proposed by the county agricultural and
 farmland protection board and/or the county planning board.
 (3) The notice shall be published in a newspaper having a general
 circulation within the proposed district and shall be given in writing
 to those municipalities whose territory encompasses the proposed
 district and any proposed modifications, owners of real property within
 such a proposed district or any proposed modifications who are listed on
 the most recent assessment roll, the commissioner, the commissioner of
 environmental conservation and the advisory council on agriculture.
 3. The following factors shall be considered by the county planning
 board, the county agricultural and farmland protection board, and at any
 public hearing:
 i. the viability of active farming within the proposed district and in
 areas adjacent thereto;
 ii. the presence of any viable farm lands within the proposed district
 and adjacent thereto that are not now in active farming;
 iii. the nature and extent of land uses other than active farming
 within the proposed district and adjacent thereto;
 iv. county developmental patterns and needs; and
 v. any other matters which may be relevant.
 In judging viability, any relevant agricultural viability maps
 prepared by the commissioner of agriculture and markets shall be
 considered, as well as soil, climate, topography, other natural factors,
 markets for farm products, the extent and nature of farm improvements,
 the present status of farming, anticipated trends in agricultural
 economic conditions and technology, and such other factors as may be
 relevant.
 4. The county legislative body, after receiving the reports of the
 county planning board and the county agricultural and farmland
 protection board and after such public hearing, may adopt as a plan the
 proposal or any modification of the proposal it deems appropriate, and
 shall adopt as part of the plan an appropriate review period of either
 eight, twelve or twenty years. The plan as adopted shall, to the extent
 feasible, include adjacent viable farm lands, and exclude, to the extent
 feasible, nonviable farm land and non-farm land. The plan shall include
 only whole tax parcels in the proposed district. The county legislative
 body shall act to adopt or reject the proposal, or any modification of
 it, no later than one hundred eighty days from the date the proposal was
 submitted to this body. Upon the adoption of a plan, the county
 legislative body shall submit it to the commissioner. The commissioner
 may, upon application by the county legislative body and for good cause
 shown, extend the period for adoption and submission once for an
 additional thirty days. Where he or she does so, the county legislative
 body may extend the period for the report from the county planning board
 and/or the period for the report from the county agricultural and
 farmland protection board.
 5. a. The commissioner shall have sixty days after receipt of the plan
 within which to certify to the county legislative body whether the
 proposal, or a modification of the proposal, is eligible for
 districting, whether the area to be districted consists predominantly of
 viable agricultural land, and whether the plan of the proposed district
 is feasible, and will serve the public interest by assisting in
 maintaining a viable agricultural industry within the district and the
 state. The commissioner shall submit a copy of such plan to the
 commissioner of environmental conservation, who shall have thirty days
 within which to report his or her determination to the commissioner. A
 copy of such plan shall also be provided to the advisory council on
 agriculture. The commissioner shall not certify the plan as eligible for
 districting unless the commissioner of environmental conservation has
 determined that the area to be districted is consistent with state
 environmental plans, policies and objectives.
 6. a. Within sixty days after the certification by the commissioner
 that the proposed area is eligible for districting, and that districting
 would be consistent with state environmental plans, policies and
 objectives, the county legislative body may hold a public hearing on the
 plan, except that it shall hold a public hearing if the plan was
 modified by the commissioner or was modified by the county legislative
 body after they held the public hearing required by paragraph e of
 subdivision two of this section and such modification was not considered
 at the original hearing. Notice of any such hearing shall be in a
 newspaper having general circulation in the area of the proposed
 district and individual notice, in writing, to those municipalities
 whose territories encompass the proposed district modifications, the
 persons owning land directly affected by the proposed district
 modifications, the commissioner, the commissioner of environmental
 conservation and the advisory council on agriculture. The proposed
 district, if certified without modification by the commissioner, shall
 become effective thirty days after the termination of such public
 hearing or, if there is no public hearing, ninety days after such
 certification unless its creation is disapproved by the county
 legislative body within such period. Provided, however, that if, on a
 date within the thirty days after the termination of such public hearing
 or, if there is no public hearing, within the ninety days after such
 certification, the county legislative body approves creation of the
 district, such district shall become effective on such date. Provided
 further, that notwithstanding any other provision of this subdivision,
 if the commissioner modified the proposal, the district shall not become
 effective unless the county legislative body approves the modified
 district; such approval must be given on a date within the thirty days
 after the termination of the public hearing; and the district, if
 approved, shall become effective on such date. Before approving or
 disapproving any proposal modified by the commissioner, the county
 legislative body may request reports on such modified proposal, from the
 county planning board and the county agricultural and farmland
 protection board.
 7. Upon the creation of an agricultural district, the description
 thereof, which shall include tax map identification numbers for all
 parcels within the district, plus a map delineating the exterior
 boundaries of the district in relation to tax parcel boundaries, shall
 be filed by the county legislative body with the county clerk, the
 county director of real property tax services, and the commissioner. For
 all existing agricultural districts, the county clerk shall also file
 with the commissioner upon request the tax map identification numbers
 for tax parcels within those districts. The commissioner, on petition of
 the county legislative body, may, for good cause shown, approve the
 correction of any errors in materials filed pursuant to a district
 creation at any time subsequent to the creation of any agricultural
 district.
 
 303-a. Agricultural districts; review.
 
 1. The county legislative
 body shall review any district created under this section eight, twelve
 or twenty years after the date of its creation, consistent with the
 review period set forth in the plan creating such district and at the
 end of every eight, twelve or twenty year period thereafter, whichever
 may apply. In counties with multiple districts with review dates in any
 twelve month period, the commissioner, on petition of the county
 legislative body, may, for good cause shown, approve an extension of up
 to four years for a district review. Thereafter, the extended review
 date shall be deemed the creation date for purposes of subsequent
 reviews by the county legislative body in accordance with this section.
 The review date of a district may not be extended more than four years.
 The petition of the county legislative body for an extension shall be
 submitted to the commissioner at least six months prior to the review
 date.
 2. In conducting a district review the county legislative body shall:
 a. provide notice of such district review by publishing a notice in a
 newspaper having general circulation within the district and by posting
 such notice in at least five conspicuous places within the district. The
 notice shall identify the municipalities in which the district is found
 and the district's total area; indicate that a map of the district will
 be on file and open to public inspection in the office of the county
 clerk and such other places as the legislative body deems appropriate;
 and notify municipalities and land owners within the district that they
 may propose a modification of the district by filing such proposal with
 the county clerk of the county legislature within thirty days after the
 publication of such notice;
 b. direct the county agricultural and farmland protection board to
 prepare a report concerning the following:
 (1) the nature and status of farming and farm resources within such
 district, including the total number of acres of land and the total
 number of acres of land in farm operations in the district;
 (2) the extent to which the district has achieved its original
 objectives;
 (3) the extent to which county and local comprehensive plans, policies
 and objectives are consistent with and support the district;
 (4) the degree of coordination between local laws, ordinances, rules
 and regulations that apply to farm operations in such district and their
 influence on farming; and
 (5) recommendations to continue, terminate or modify such district.
 c. hold a public hearing at least one hundred twenty days prior to the
 district review date and not more than one hundred eighty days prior to
 such date, in the following manner:
 (1) the hearing shall be held at a place within the district or
 otherwise readily accessible to the proposed district;
 (2) a notice of public hearing shall be published in a newspaper
 having a general circulation within the district and shall be given in
 writing to those municipalities whose territories encompass the district
 and any proposed modifications to the district; to persons, as listed on
 the most recent assessment roll, whose land is the subject of a proposed
 modification; and to the commissioner;
 (3) the notice of hearing shall contain the following information:
 (a) a statement of the time, date and place of the public hearing; and
 (b) a description of the district, any proposed modifications and any
 recommendations of the county agricultural and farmland protection
 board.
 3. The county legislative body, after receiving the report and
 recommendation of the county agricultural and farmland protection board,
 and after public hearing, shall make a finding whether the district
 should be continued, terminated or modified. If the county legislative
 body finds that the district should be terminated, it may do so at the
 end of such eight, twelve or twenty year period, whichever may be
 applicable, by filing a notice of termination with the county clerk and
 the commissioner. If the county legislative body finds that the district
 should be continued or modified, it shall submit a district review plan
 to the commissioner. The district review plan shall include a
 description of the district, including a map delineating the exterior
 boundaries of the district which shall conform to tax parcel boundaries;
 the tax map identification numbers for every parcel in the district; a
 copy of the report of the county agricultural and farmland protection
 board required by paragraph b of subdivision two of this section; and a
 copy of the testimony given at the public hearing required by
 subdivision two of this section or a copy of the minutes of such
 hearing.
 4. If the county legislative body does not act, or if a modification
 of a district is rejected by the county legislative body, the district
 shall continue as originally constituted, unless the commissioner, after
 consultation with the advisory council on agriculture, terminates such
 district, by filing a notice thereof with the county clerk, because:
 a. the area in the district is no longer predominantly viable
 agricultural land; or
 b. the commissioner of environmental conservation has determined that
 the continuation of the district would not be consistent with state
 environmental plans, policies and objectives; provided, however, that if
 the commissioner certifies to the county legislative body that he or she
 will not approve the continuance of the district unless modified, the
 commissioner shall grant the county an extension as provided in
 subdivision one of this section to allow the county to prepare a
 modification of the district in the manner provided in this section.
 5. Plan review, certification and filing shall be conducted in the
 same manner prescribed for district creation in subdivisions five, six
 and seven of section three hundred three of this article.
 
 303-b. Agricultural districts; inclusion of viable agricultural
 land. 
 
1. The legislative body of any county containing a certified
 agricultural district shall designate an annual thirty-day period within
 which a land owner may submit to such body a request for inclusion of
 land which is predominantly viable agricultural land within a certified
 agricultural district prior to the county established review period.
 Such request shall identify the agricultural district into which the
 land is proposed to be included, describe such land, and include the tax
 map identification number and relevant portion of the tax map for each
 parcel of land to be included.
 2. Upon the termination of such thirty-day period, if any requests are
 submitted, the county legislative body shall:
 a. refer such request or requests to the county agricultural and
 farmland protection board, which shall, within thirty days report to the
 county legislative body its recommendations as to whether the land to be
 included in the agricultural district consists predominantly of "viable
 agricultural land" as defined in subdivision seven of section three
 hundred one of this article and the inclusion of such land would serve
 the public interest by assisting in maintaining a viable agricultural
 industry within the district; and
 b. publish a notice of public hearing in accordance with subdivision
 three of this section.
 3. The county legislative body shall hold a public hearing upon giving
 notice in the following manner:
 a. The notice of public hearing shall contain a statement that one or
 more requests for inclusion of predominantly viable agricultural land
 within a certified agricultural district have been filed with the county
 legislative body pursuant to this section; identify the land, generally,
 proposed to be included; indicate the time, date and place of the public
 hearing, which shall occur after receipt of the report of the county
 agricultural and farmland protection board; and include a statement that
 the hearing shall be held to consider the request or requests and
 recommendations of the county agricultural and farmland protection
 board.
 b. The notice shall be published in a newspaper having a general
 circulation within the county and shall be given in writing directly to
 those municipalities whose territory encompasses the lands which are
 proposed to be included in an agricultural district and to the
 commissioner.
 4. After the public hearing, the county legislative body shall adopt
 or reject the inclusion of the land requested to be included within an
 existing certified agricultural district. Such action shall be taken no
 later than one hundred twenty days from the termination of the thirty
 day period described in subdivision one of this section. Any land to be
 added shall consist of whole tax parcels only. Upon the adoption of a
 resolution to include predominantly viable agricultural land, in whole
 or in part, within an existing certified agricultural district, the
 county legislative body shall submit the resolution, together with the
 report of the county agricultural and farmland protection board and the
 tax map identification numbers and tax maps for each parcel of land to
 be included in an agricultural district to the commissioner.
 5. Within thirty days after receipt of a resolution to include land
 within a district, the commissioner shall certify to the county
 legislative body whether the inclusion of predominantly viable
 agricultural land as proposed is feasible and shall serve the public
 interest by assisting in maintaining a viable agricultural industry
 within the district or districts.
 6. If the commissioner certifies that the proposed inclusion of
 predominantly viable agricultural land within a district is feasible and
 in the public interest, the land shall become part of the district
 immediately upon such certification.
 304. Unique and irreplaceable agricultural lands; creation of
 districts. 1. The commissioner, after consulting with the advisory
 council on agriculture, may create agricultural districts covering any
 land in units of two thousand or more acres not already districted under
 section three hundred three of this article, if (a) the land encompassed
 in a proposed district is predominantly unique and irreplaceable
 agriculture land; (b) the commissioner of environmental conservation has
 determined that such district would further state environmental plans,
 policies and objectives; and (c) the director of the division of the
 budget has given approval of the establishment of such area.
 2. Prior to creating an agricultural district under this section, the
 commissioner of agriculture and markets shall work closely, consult and
 cooperate with local elected officials, planning bodies, agriculture and
 agribusiness interests, community leaders, and other interested groups.
 The commissioner shall give primary consideration to local needs and
 desires, including local zoning and planning regulations as well as
 regional and local comprehensive land use plans. The commissioner shall
 file a map of the proposed district in the office of the clerk of any
 municipality in which the proposed district is to be located, and shall
 provide a copy thereof to the chief executive officer of any such
 municipality and the presiding officer of the local governing body, and,
 upon request, to any other person. The commissioner shall publish a
 notice of the filing of such proposed map and the availability of copies
 thereof in a newspaper of general circulation within the area of the
 proposed district, which notice shall also state that a public hearing
 will be held to consider the proposed district at a specified time and
 at a specified place either within the proposed district or easily
 accessible to the proposed district on a date not less than thirty days
 after such publication. In addition, the commissioner shall give notice,
 in writing, of such public hearing to persons owning land within the
 proposed district. The commissioner shall conduct a public hearing
 pursuant to such notice, and, in addition, any person shall have the
 opportunity to present written comments on the proposed district within
 thirty days after the public hearing. After due consideration of such
 local needs and desires, including such testimony and comments, if any,
 the commissioner may affirm, modify or withdraw the proposed district.
 Provided, however, that if the commissioner modifies the proposal to
 include any land not included in the proposal as it read when the public
 hearing was held, the commissioner shall hold another public hearing, on
 the same type of published and written notice, and with the same
 opportunity for presentation of written comments after the hearing. Then
 the commissioner may affirm, modify or withdraw the proposed district,
 but may not modify it to include land not included in the proposal upon
 which the second hearing was held.
 3. Upon such affirmation or modification, a map of the district shall
 be filed by the commissioner of agriculture and markets with the county
 clerk of each county in which the district or a portion thereof is
 located, and publication of such filing shall be made in a newspaper of
 general circulation within the district to be created. The creation of
 the district shall become effective thirty days after such filing and
 publication.
 4. The commissioner shall review any district created under this
 section, in consultation with the advisory council on agriculture, the
 commissioner of environmental conservation and the director of the
 division of the budget, eight, twelve or twenty years after the date of
 its creation, consistent with the review period set forth in the plan
 creating such district or every eight years if the district was adopted
 prior to August first, nineteen hundred eighty-three, and every eight,
 twelve or twenty year period thereafter, whichever may be applicable.
 Each such review shall include consultation with local elected
 officials, planning bodies, agricultural and agribusiness interests,
 community leaders, county agricultural and farmland protection boards,
 and other interested groups, and shall also include a public hearing at
 a specified time and at a specified place either within the district or
 easily accessible to the proposed district, notice of such hearing to be
 published in a newspaper having general circulation within the district.
 In addition, the commissioner shall give notice, in writing, of such
 public hearing to persons owning land in the district. After any such
 review, the commissioner may modify such district so as to exclude land
 which is no longer predominantly unique and irreplaceable agricultural
 land or to include additional such land, provided: (a) such
 modification would serve the public interest by assisting in maintaining
 a viable agricultural industry within the district and the state; (b)
 the commissioner of environmental conservation has determined that such
 modification would further state environmental plans, policies and
 objectives; and (c) such modification has been approved by the director
 of the division of the budget; provided, further, that if the
 commissioner modifies the district to include additional land, he or she
 shall hold another public hearing, on the same type of published and
 written notice. Then the commissioner may again modify or dissolve the
 district, but may not modify it to include land not included in the
 proposed modifications upon which the second hearing was held. After
 any such review the commissioner, after consultation with the advisory
 council on agriculture, shall dissolve any such district if (a) the land
 within the district is no longer predominantly unique and irreplaceable
 agricultural land, or (b) the commissioner of environmental conservation
 has determined that the continuation of the district would not further
 state environmental plans, policies and objectives. A modification or
 dissolution of a district shall become effective in the same manner as
 is provided for in subdivision three of this section, except that in the
 case of dissolution, a notice of dissolution shall be filed instead of a
 map.
 
 304-a. Agricultural assessment values. 
 
 1. Agricultural assessment
 values shall be calculated and certified annually in accordance with the
 provisions of this section.
 2. a. The commissioner of agriculture and markets shall establish and
 maintain an agricultural land classification system based upon soil
 productivity and capability. The agricultural land classification system
 shall distinguish between mineral and organic soils. There shall be ten
 primary groups of mineral soils and such other subgroups as the
 commissioner determines necessary to represent high-lime and low-lime
 content. There shall be four groups of organic soils.
 b. The land classification system shall be promulgated by rule by the
 commissioner following a review of comments and recommendations of the
 advisory council on agriculture and after a public hearing. In making
 any revisions to the land classification system the commissioner may, in
 his or her discretion, conduct a public hearing. The commissioner shall
 foster participation by county agricultural and farmland protection
 boards, district soil and water conservation committees, and the
 cooperative extension service and consult with other state agencies,
 appropriate federal agencies, municipalities, the New York state college
 of agriculture and life sciences at Cornell university and farm
 organizations.
 c. The commissioner shall certify to the state board of real property
 services the soil list developed in accordance with the land
 classification system and any revisions thereto.
 d. The commissioner shall prepare such materials as may be needed for
 the utilization of the land classification system and provide assistance
 to landowners and local officials in its use.
 3. a. The state board of real property services shall annually
 calculate a single agricultural assessment value for each of the mineral
 and organic soil groups which shall be applied uniformly throughout the
 state. A base agricultural assessment value shall be separately
 calculated for mineral and organic soil groups in accordance with the
 procedure set forth in subdivision four of this section and shall be
 assigned as the agricultural assessment value of the highest grade
 mineral and organic soil group.
 b. The agricultural assessment values for the remaining mineral soil
 groups shall be the product of the base agricultural assessment value
 and a percentage, derived from the productivity measurements determined
 for each soil and related soil group in conjunction with the land
 classification system, as follows:
 
Percentage of
 Base Agricultural
 Mineral Soil Group Assessment Value
 
1A 100
 1B 89
 2A 89
 2B 79
 3A 79
 3B 68
 4A 68
 4B 58
 5A 58
 5B 47
 6A 47
 6B 37
 7 37
 8 26
 9 16
 10 5
 
c. The agricultural assessment values for the remaining organic soil
 groups shall be the product of the base agricultural assessment value
 and a percentage, as follows:
 
Percentage of
 Base Agricultural
 Organic Soil Group Assessment Value
 
A 100
 B 65
 C 55
 D 35
 
d. The agricultural assessment value for organic soil group A shall be
 two times the base agricultural assessment value calculated for mineral
 soil group 1A.
 e. The agricultural assessment value for farm woodland shall be the
 same as that calculated for mineral soil group seven.
 f. Where trees or vines used for the production of fruit are located
 on land used in agricultural production, the value of such trees and
 vines, and the value of all posts, wires and trellises used for the
 production of fruit, shall be considered to be part of the agricultural
 assessment value of such land.
 g. The agricultural assessment value for land and waters used in
 aquacultural enterprises shall be the same as that calculated for
 mineral soil group 1A.
 4. a. The base agricultural assessment value shall be the average
 capitalized value of production per acre for the eight year period
 ending in the second year preceding the year for which the agricultural
 assessment values are certified. The capitalized value of production per
 acre shall be calculated by dividing the product of the value of
 production per acre and the percentage of net profit by a capitalization
 rate of ten percent, representing an assumed investment return rate of
 eight percent and an assumed real property tax rate of two percent.
 b. The value of production per acre shall be the value of production
 divided by the number of acres harvested in New York state.
 c. The percentage of net profit shall be adjusted net farm income
 divided by realized gross farm income.
 (i) Adjusted net farm income shall be the sum of net farm income,
 taxes on farm real estate and the amount of mortgage interest debt
 attributable to farmland, less a management charge of one percent of
 realized gross farm income plus seven percent of adjusted production
 expenses.
 (ii) The amount of mortgage interest debt attributable to farmland
 shall be the product of the interest on mortgage debt and the percentage
 of farm real estate value attributable to land.
 (iii) The percentage of farm real estate value attributable to land
 shall be the difference between farm real estate value and farm
 structure value divided by farm real estate value.
 (iv) Adjusted production expenses shall be production expenses, less
 the sum of the taxes on farm real estate and the interest on mortgage
 debt.
 d. The following data, required for calculations pursuant to this
 subdivision, shall be as published by the United States department of
 agriculture for all farming in New York state:
 (i) Farm real estate value shall be the total value of farmland and
 buildings, including improvements.
 (ii) Farm structure value shall be the total value of farm buildings,
 including improvements.
 (iii) Interest on mortgage debt shall be the total interest paid on
 farm real estate debt.
 (iv) Net farm income shall be realized gross income less production
 expenses, as adjusted for change in inventory.
 (v) Production expenses shall be the total cost of production.
 (vi) Realized gross income shall be the total of cash receipts from
 farm marketings, government payments, nonmoney income and other farm
 income.
 (vii) Taxes on farm real estate shall be the total real property taxes
 on farmland and buildings, including improvements.
 (viii) Number of acres harvested including all reported crops.
 (ix) Value of production shall be the total estimated value of all
 reported crops.
 e. In the event that the data required for calculation pursuant to
 this subdivision is not published by the United States department of
 agriculture or is incomplete, such required data shall be obtained from
 the New York state department of agriculture and markets.
 f. Upon completion of each annual calculation of agricultural
 assessment values, the state board of real property services shall
 publish an annual report, which shall include a schedule of values,
 citations to data sources and presentation of all calculations.
 The state board of real property services shall thereupon certify the
 schedule of agricultural assessment values and shall transmit a schedule
 of such certified values to each assessor. Beginning in the year two
 thousand six and every five years thereafter, the state board of real
 property services shall transmit copies of such annual reports for the
 five years previous to such transmittal, to the governor and
 legislature, the advisory council on agriculture, and other appropriate
 state agencies and interested parties.
 g. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the
 contrary, in no event shall the change in the base agricultural
 assessment value for any given year exceed ten percent of the base
 agricultural assessment value of the preceding year.
 5. a. In carrying out their responsibilities under this section, the
 state board of real property services and the commissioner shall keep
 the advisory council on agriculture fully apprised on matters relating
 to its duties and responsibilities.
 b. In doing so, the state board of real property services and the
 commissioner shall provide, in a timely manner, any materials needed by
 the advisory council on agriculture to carry out its responsibilities
 under this section.
 
 304-b. Agricultural district data reporting. 
 
1. The commissioner
 shall file a written report with the governor and the legislature on
 January first, two thousand eight and biennially thereafter, covering
 each prior period of two years, concerning the status of the
 agricultural districts program. Such report shall include, but not be
 limited to, the total number of agricultural districts, the total number
 of acres in agricultural districts, a list of the counties that have
 established county agricultural and farmland protection plans, and a
 summary of the agricultural protection planning grants program.
 2. Between report due dates, the commissioner shall maintain the
 necessary records and data required to satisfy such report requirements
 and to satisfy information requests received from the governor and the
 legislature between such report due dates.
 305. Agricultural districts; effects. 1. Agricultural assessments.
 a. Any owner of land used in agricultural production within an
 agricultural district shall be eligible for an agricultural assessment
 pursuant to this section. If an applicant rents land from another for
 use in conjunction with the applicant's land for the production for sale
 of crops, livestock or livestock products, the gross sales value of such
 products produced on such rented land shall be added to the gross sales
 value of such products produced on the land of the applicant for
 purposes of determining eligibility for an agricultural assessment on
 the land of the applicant. Such assessment shall be granted only upon an
 annual application by the owner of such land on a form prescribed by the
 state board of real property services. The applicant shall furnish to
 the assessor such information as the state board of real property
 services shall require, including classification information prepared
 for the applicant's land or water bodies used in agricultural production
 by the soil and water conservation district office within the county,
 and information demonstrating the eligibility for agricultural
 assessment of any land used in conjunction with rented land as specified
 in paragraph b of subdivision four of section three hundred one of this
 article. Such application shall be filed with the assessor of the
 assessing unit on or before the appropriate taxable status date;
 provided, however, that (i) in the year of a revaluation or update of
 assessments, as those terms are defined in section one hundred two of
 the real property tax law, the application may be filed with the
 assessor no later than the thirtieth day prior to the day by which the
 tentative assessment roll is required to be filed by law; or (ii) an
 application for such an assessment may be filed with the assessor of the
 assessing unit after the appropriate taxable status date but not later
 than the last date on which a petition with respect to complaints of
 assessment may be filed, where failure to file a timely application
 resulted from: (a) a death of the applicant's spouse, child, parent,
 brother or sister, (b) an illness of the applicant or of the applicant's
 spouse, child, parent, brother or sister, which actually prevents the
 applicant from filing on a timely basis, as certified by a licensed
 physician, or (c) the occurrence of a natural disaster, including, but
 not limited to, a flood, or the destruction of such applicant's
 residence, barn or other farm building by wind, fire or flood. If the
 assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an agricultural
 assessment, the assessor shall approve the application and the land
 shall be assessed pursuant to this section. Not less than ten days prior
 to the date for hearing complaints in relation to assessments, the
 assessor shall mail to each applicant, who has included with the
 application at least one self-addressed, pre-paid envelope, a notice of
 the approval or denial of the application. Such notice shall be on a
 form prescribed by the state board of real property services which shall
 indicate the manner in which the total assessed value is apportioned
 among the various portions of the property subject to agricultural
 assessment and those other portions of the property not eligible for
 agricultural assessment as determined for the tentative assessment roll
 and the latest final assessment roll. Failure to mail any such notice or
 failure of the owner to receive the same shall not prevent the levy,
 collection and enforcement of the payment of the taxes on such real
 property.
 b. That portion of the value of land utilized for agricultural
 production within an agricultural district which represents an excess
 above the agricultural assessment as determined in accordance with this
 subdivision shall not be subject to real property taxation. Such excess
 amount if any shall be entered on the assessment roll in the manner
 prescribed by the state board of real property services.
 c. (i) The assessor shall utilize the agricultural assessment values
 per acre certified pursuant to section three hundred four-a of this
 article in determining the amount of the assessment of lands eligible
 for agricultural assessments by multiplying those values by the number
 of acres of land utilized for agricultural production and adjusting such
 result by application of the latest state equalization rate or a special
 equalization rate as may be established and certified by the state board
 of real property services for the purpose of computing the agricultural
 assessment pursuant to this paragraph. This resulting amount shall be
 the agricultural assessment for such lands.
 (ii) Where the latest state equalization rate exceeds one hundred, or
 where a special equalization rate which would otherwise be established
 for the purposes of this section would exceed one hundred, a special
 equalization rate of one hundred shall be established and certified by
 the state board for the purpose of this section.
 (iii) Where a special equalization rate has been established and
 certified by the state board for the purposes of this paragraph, the
 assessor is directed and authorized to recompute the agricultural
 assessment on the assessment roll by applying such special equalization
 rate instead of the latest state equalization rate, and to make the
 appropriate corrections on the assessment roll, subject to the
 provisions of title two of article twelve of the real property tax law.
 d. (i) If land within an agricultural district which received an
 agricultural assessment is converted parcels, as described on the
 assessment roll which include land so converted shall be subject to
 payments equalling five times the taxes saved in the last year in which
 the land benefited from an agricultural assessment, plus interest of six
 percent per year compounded annually for each year in which an
 agricultural assessment was granted, not exceeding five years. The
 amount of taxes saved for the last year in which the land benefited from
 an agricultural assessment shall be determined by applying the
 applicable tax rates to the excess amount of assessed valuation of such
 land over its agricultural assessment as set forth on the last
 assessment roll which indicates such an excess. If only a portion of a
 parcel as described on the assessment roll is converted, the assessor
 shall apportion the assessment and agricultural assessment attributable
 to the converted portion, as determined for the last assessment roll for
 which the assessment of such portion exceeded its agricultural
 assessment. The difference between the apportioned assessment and the
 apportioned agricultural assessment shall be the amount upon which
 payments shall be determined. Payments shall be added by or on behalf of
 each taxing jurisdiction to the taxes levied on the assessment roll
 prepared on the basis of the first taxable status date on which the
 assessor considers the land to have been converted; provided, however,
 that no payments shall be imposed if the last assessment roll upon which
 the property benefited from an agricultural assessment, was more than
 five years prior to the year for which the assessment roll upon which
 payments would otherwise be levied is prepared.
 (ii) Whenever a conversion occurs, the owner shall notify the assessor
 within ninety days of the date such conversion is commenced. If the
 landowner fails to make such notification within the ninety day period,
 the assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may impose a
 penalty on behalf of the assessing unit of up to two times the total
 payments owed, but not to exceed a maximum total penalty of five hundred
 dollars in addition to any payments owed.
 (iii) (a) An assessor who determines that there is liability for
 payments and any penalties assessed pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of
 this paragraph shall notify the landowner by mail of such liability at
 least ten days prior to the date for hearing complaints in relation to
 assessments. Such notice shall indicate the property to which payments
 apply and describe how the payments shall be determined. Failure to
 provide such notice shall not affect the levy, collection or enforcement
 or payment of payments.
 (b) Liability for payments shall be subject to administrative and
 judicial review as provided by law for review of assessments.
 (iv) If such land or any portion thereof is converted to a use other
 than for agricultural production by virtue of oil, gas or wind
 exploration, development, or extraction activity or by virtue of a
 taking by eminent domain or other involuntary proceeding other than a
 tax sale, the land or portion so converted shall not be subject to
 payments. If the land so converted constitutes only a portion of a
 parcel described on the assessment roll, the assessor shall apportion
 the assessment, and adjust the agricultural assessment attributable to
 the portion of the parcel not subject to such conversion by subtracting
 the proportionate part of the agricultural assessment attributable to
 the portion so converted. Provided further that land within an
 agricultural district and eligible for an agricultural assessment shall
 not be considered to have been converted to a use other than for
 agricultural production solely due to the conveyance of oil, gas or wind
 rights associated with that land.
 (v) An assessor who imposes any such payments shall annually, and
 within forty-five days following the date on which the final assessment
 roll is required to be filed, report such payments to the state board of
 real property services on a form prescribed by the state board.
 (vi) The assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may
 impose a minimum payment amount, not to exceed one hundred dollars.
 (vii) The purchase of land in fee by the city of New York for
 watershed protection purposes or the conveyance of a conservation
 easement by the city of New York to the department of environmental
 conservation which prohibits future use of the land for agricultural
 purposes shall not be a conversion of parcels and no payment shall be
 due under this section.
 e. In connection with any district created under section three hundred
 four of this article, the state shall provide assistance to each taxing
 jurisdiction in an amount equal to one-half of the tax loss that results
 from requests for agricultural assessments in the district. The amount
 of such tax loss shall be computed annually by applying the applicable
 tax rate to an amount computed by subtracting the agricultural
 assessment from the assessed value of the property on the assessment
 roll completed and filed prior to July first, nineteen hundred
 seventy-one, taking into consideration any change in the level of
 assessment. The chief fiscal officer of a taxing jurisdiction entitled
 to state assistance under this article shall make application for such
 assistance to the state board of real property services on a form
 approved by such board and containing such information as the board
 shall require. Upon approval of the application by such board, such
 assistance shall be apportioned and paid to such taxing jurisdiction on
 the audit and warrant of the state comptroller out of moneys
 appropriated by the legislature for the purpose of this article;
 provided, however, that any such assistance payment shall be reduced by
 one-half the amount of any payments levied under subparagraph (i) of
 paragraph d of this subdivision, for land in any district created under
 section three hundred four of this article, unless one-half the amount
 of such payments has already been used to reduce a previous assistance
 payment under this paragraph.
 f. Notwithstanding any inconsistent general, special or local law to
 the contrary, if a natural disaster, act of God, or continued adverse
 weather conditions shall destroy the agricultural production and such
 fact is certified by the cooperative extension service and, as a result,
 such production does not produce an average gross sales value of ten
 thousand dollars or more, the owner may nevertheless qualify for an
 agricultural assessment provided the owner shall substantiate in such
 manner as prescribed by the state board of real property services that
 the agricultural production initiated on such land would have produced
 an average gross sales value of ten thousand dollars or more but for the
 natural disaster, act of God or continued adverse weather conditions.
 3. Policy of state agencies. It shall be the policy of all state
 agencies to encourage the maintenance of viable farming in agricultural
 districts and their administrative regulations and procedures shall be
 modified to this end insofar as is consistent with the promotion of
 public health and safety and with the provisions of any federal
 statutes, standards, criteria, rules, regulations, or policies, and any
 other requirements of federal agencies, including provisions applicable
 only to obtaining federal grants, loans, or other funding.
 4. Limitation on the exercise of eminent domain and other public
 acquisitions, and on the advance of public funds. a. Any agency of the
 state, any public benefit corporation or any local government which
 intends to acquire land or any interest therein, provided that the
 acquisition from any one actively operated farm within the district
 would be in excess of one acre or that the total acquisition within the
 district would be in excess of ten acres, or which intends to construct,
 or advance a grant, loan, interest subsidy or other funds within a
 district to construct, dwellings, commercial or industrial facilities,
 or water or sewer facilities to serve non-farm structures, shall use all
 practicable means in undertaking such action to realize the policy and
 goals set forth in this article, and shall act and choose alternatives
 which, consistent with social, economic and other essential
 considerations, to the maximum extent practicable, minimize or avoid
 adverse impacts on agriculture in order to sustain a viable farm
 enterprise or enterprises within the district. The adverse agricultural
 impacts to be minimized or avoided shall include impacts revealed in the
 notice of intent process described in this subdivision.
 b. As early as possible in the development of a proposal of an action
 described in paragraph a of this subdivision, but in no event later than
 the date of any determination as to whether an environmental impact
 statement need be prepared pursuant to article eight of the
 environmental conservation law, the agency, corporation or government
 proposing an action described in paragraph a of this subdivision shall
 file a preliminary notice of its intent with the commissioner and the
 county agricultural and farmland protection board in such manner and
 form as the commissioner may require. Such preliminary notice shall
 include the following:
 (i) a brief description of the proposed action and its agricultural
 setting;
 (ii) a summary of any anticipated adverse impacts on farm operations
 and agricultural resources within the district; and
 (iii) such other information as the commissioner may require.
 c. The agency, corporation or government proposing the action shall
 also, at least sixty-five days prior to such acquisition, construction
 or advance of public funds, file a final notice of intent with the
 commissioner and the county agricultural and farmland protection board.
 Such final notice shall include a detailed agricultural impact statement
 setting forth the following:
 (i) a detailed description of the proposed action and its agricultural
 setting;
 (ii) the agricultural impact of the proposed action including
 short-term and long-term effects;
 (iii) any adverse agricultural effects which cannot be avoided should
 the proposed action be implemented;
 (iv) alternatives to the proposed action;
 (v) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of agricultural
 resources which would be involved in the proposed action should it be
 implemented;
 (vi) mitigation measures proposed to minimize the adverse impact of
 the proposed action on the continuing viability of a farm enterprise or
 enterprises within the district;
 (vii) any aspects of the proposed action which would encourage
 non-farm development, where applicable and appropriate; and
 (viii) such other information as the commissioner may require.
 The commissioner shall promptly determine whether the final notice is
 complete or incomplete. If the commissioner does not issue such
 determination within thirty days, the final notice shall be deemed
 complete. If the final notice is determined to be incomplete, the
 commissioner shall notify the party proposing the action in writing of
 the reasons for that determination. Any new submission shall commence a
 new period for department review for purposes of determining
 completeness.
 d. The provisions of paragraphs b and c of this subdivision shall not
 apply and shall be deemed waived by the owner of the land to be acquired
 where such owner signs a document to such effect and provides a copy to
 the commissioner.
 e. Upon notice from the commissioner that he or she has accepted a
 final notice as complete, the county agricultural and farmland
 protection board may, within thirty days, review the proposed action and
 its effects on farm operations and agricultural resources within the
 district, and report its findings and recommendations to the
 commissioner and to the party proposing the action in the case of
 actions proposed by a state agency or public benefit corporation, and
 additionally to the county legislature in the case of actions proposed
 by local government agencies.
 f. Upon receipt and acceptance of a final notice, the commissioner
 shall thereupon forward a copy of such notice to the commissioner of
 environmental conservation and the advisory council on agriculture. The
 commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner of environmental
 conservation and the advisory council on agriculture, within forty-five
 days of the acceptance of a final notice, shall review the proposed
 action and make an initial determination whether such action would have
 an unreasonably adverse effect on the continuing viability of a farm
 enterprise or enterprises within the district, or state environmental
 plans, policies and objectives.
 If the commissioner so determines, he or she may (i) issue an order
 within the forty-five day period directing the state agency, public
 benefit corporation or local government not to take such action for an
 additional period of sixty days immediately following such forty-five
 day period; and (ii) review the proposed action to determine whether any
 reasonable and practicable alternative or alternatives exist which would
 minimize or avoid the adverse impact on agriculture in order to sustain
 a viable farm enterprise or enterprises within the district.
 The commissioner may hold a public hearing concerning such proposed
 action at a place within the district or otherwise easily accessible to
 the district upon notice in a newspaper having a general circulation
 within the district, and individual notice, in writing, to the
 municipalities whose territories encompass the district, the
 commissioner of environmental conservation, the advisory council on
 agriculture and the state agency, public benefit corporation or local
 government proposing to take such action. On or before the conclusion of
 such additional sixty day period, the commissioner shall report his or
 her findings to the agency, corporation or government proposing to take
 such action, to any public agency having the power of review of or
 approval of such action, and, in a manner conducive to the wide
 dissemination of such findings, to the public. If the commissioner
 concludes that a reasonable and practicable alternative or alternatives
 exist which would minimize or avoid the adverse impact of the proposed
 action, he or she shall propose that such alternative or alternatives be
 accepted. If the agency, corporation or government proposing the action
 accepts the commissioner's proposal, then the requirements of the notice
 of intent filing shall be deemed fulfilled. If the agency, corporation
 or government rejects the commissioner's proposal, then it shall provide
 the commissioner with reasons for rejecting such proposal and a detailed
 comparison between its proposed action and the commissioner's
 alternative or alternatives.
 g. At least ten days before commencing an action which has been the
 subject of a notice of intent filing, the agency, corporation or
 government shall certify to the commissioner that it has made an
 explicit finding that the requirements of this subdivision have been
 met, and that consistent with social, economic and other essential
 considerations, to the maximum extent practicable, adverse agricultural
 impacts revealed in the notice of intent process will be minimized or
 avoided. Such certification shall set forth the reasons in support of
 the finding.
 h. The commissioner may request the attorney general to bring an
 action to enjoin any such agency, corporation or government from
 violating any of the provisions of this subdivision.
 h-1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no
 solid waste management facility shall be sited on land in agricultural
 production which is located within an agricultural district, or land in
 agricultural production that qualifies for and is receiving an
 agricultural assessment pursuant to section three hundred six of this
 article. Nothing contained herein, however, shall be deemed to prohibit
 siting when:
 (i) The owner of such land has entered into a written agreement which
 shall indicate his consent for site consideration; or
 (ii) The applicant for a permit has made a commitment in the permit
 application to fund a farm land protection conservation easement within
 a reasonable proximity to the proposed project in an amount not less
 than the dollar value of any such farm land purchased for the project;
 or
 (iii) The commissioner in concurrence with the commissioner of
 environmental conservation has determined that any such agricultural
 land to be taken, constitutes less than five percent of the project
 site.
 For purposes of this paragraph, "solid waste management facility"
 shall have the same meaning as provided in title seven of article
 twenty-seven of the environmental conservation law, but shall not
 include solid waste transfer stations or land upon which sewage sludge
 is applied, and determinations regarding agricultural district
 boundaries and agricultural assessments will be based on those in effect
 as of the date an initial determination is made, pursuant to article
 eight of the environmental conservation law, as to whether an
 environmental impact statement needs to be prepared for the proposed
 project.
 i. This subdivision shall not apply to any emergency project which is
 immediately necessary for the protection of life or property or to any
 project or proceeding to which the department is or has been a statutory
 party.
 j. The commissioner may bring an action to enforce any mitigation
 measures proposed by a public benefit corporation or a local government,
 and accepted by the commissioner, pursuant to a notice of intent filing,
 to minimize or avoid adverse agricultural impacts from the proposed
 action.
 5. Limitation on power to impose benefit assessments, special ad
 valorem levies or other rates or fees in certain improvement districts
 or benefit areas. Within improvement districts or areas deemed benefited
 by municipal improvements including, but not limited to, improvements
 for sewer, water, lighting, non-farm drainage, solid waste disposal,
 including those solid waste management facilities established pursuant
 to section two hundred twenty-six-b of the county law, or other landfill
 operations, no benefit assessments, special ad valorem levies or other
 rates or fees charged for such improvements may be imposed on land used
 primarily for agricultural production within an agricultural district on
 any basis, except a lot not exceeding one-half acre surrounding any
 dwelling or non-farm structure located on said land, nor on any farm
 structure located in an agricultural district unless such structure
 benefits directly from the service of such improvement district or
 benefited area; provided, however, that if such benefit assessments, ad
 valorem levies or other rates or fees were imposed prior to the
 formation of the agricultural district, then such benefit assessments,
 ad valorem levies or other rates or fees shall continue to be imposed on
 such land or farm structure.
 6. Use of assessment for certain purposes. The governing body of a
 fire, fire protection, or ambulance district for which a benefit
 assessment or a special ad valorem levy is made, may adopt a resolution
 to provide that the assessment determined pursuant to subdivision one of
 this section for such property shall be used for the benefit assessment
 or special ad valorem levy of such fire, fire protection, or ambulance
 district.
 7. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, that portion
 of the value of land which is used solely for the purpose of replanting
 or crop expansion as part of an orchard or vineyard shall be exempt from
 real property taxation for a period of six successive years following
 the date of such replanting or crop expansion beginning on the first
 eligible taxable status date following such replanting or expansion
 provided the following conditions are met:
 a. the land used for crop expansion or replanting must be a part of an
 existing orchard or vineyard which is located on land used in
 agricultural production within an agricultural district or such land
 must be part of an existing orchard or vineyard which is eligible for an
 agricultural assessment pursuant to this section or section three
 hundred six of this chapter where the owner of such land has filed an
 annual application for an agricultural assessment;
 b. the land eligible for such real property tax exemption shall not in
 any one year exceed twenty percent of the total acreage of such orchard
 or vineyard which is located on land used in agricultural production
 within an agricultural district or twenty percent of the total acreage
 of such orchard or vineyard eligible for an agricultural assessment
 pursuant to this section and section three hundred six of this chapter
 where the owner of such land has filed an annual application for an
 agricultural assessment;
 c. the land eligible for such real property tax exemption must be
 maintained as land used in agricultural production as part of such
 orchard or vineyard for each year such exemption is granted; and
 d. when the land used for the purpose of replanting or crop expansion
 as part of an orchard or vineyard is located within an area which has
 been declared by the governor to be a disaster emergency in a year in
 which such tax exemption is sought and in a year in which such land
 meets all other eligibility requirements for such tax exemption set
 forth in this subdivision, the maximum twenty percent total acreage
 restriction set forth in paragraph b of this subdivision may be exceeded
 for such year and for any remaining successive years, provided, however,
 that the land eligible for such real property tax exemption shall not
 exceed the total acreage damaged or destroyed by such disaster in such
 year or the total acreage which remains damaged or destroyed in any
 remaining successive year. The total acreage for which such exemption is
 sought pursuant to this paragraph shall be subject to verification by
 the commissioner or his designee.
 
 305-a. Coordination of local planning and land use decision-making
 with the agricultural districts program. 
 
 1. Policy of local
 governments. a. Local governments, when exercising their powers to
 enact and administer comprehensive plans and local laws, ordinances,
 rules or regulations, shall exercise these powers in such manner as may
 realize the policy and goals set forth in this article, and shall not
 unreasonably restrict or regulate farm operations within agricultural
 districts in contravention of the purposes of this article unless it can
 be shown that the public health or safety is threatened.
 b. The commissioner, upon his or her own initiative or upon the
 receipt of a complaint from a person within an agricultural district,
 may bring an action to enforce the provisions of this subdivision.
 2. Agricultural data statement; submission, evaluation. Any
 application for a special use permit, site plan approval, use variance,
 or subdivision approval requiring municipal review and approval by a
 planning board, zoning board of appeals, town board, or village board of
 trustees pursuant to article sixteen of the town law or article seven of
 the village law, that would occur on property within an agricultural
 district containing a farm operation or on property with boundaries
 within five hundred feet of a farm operation located in an agricultural
 district, shall include an agricultural data statement. The planning
 board, zoning board of appeals, town board, or village board of trustees
 shall evaluate and consider the agricultural data statement in its
 review of the possible impacts of the proposed project upon the
 functioning of farm operations within such agricultural district. The
 information required by an agricultural data statement may be included
 as part of any other application form required by local law, ordinance
 or regulation.
 3. Agricultural data statement; notice provision. Upon the receipt of
 such application by the planning board, zoning board of appeals, town
 board or village board of trustees, the clerk of such board shall mail
 written notice of such application to the owners of land as identified
 by the applicant in the agricultural data statement. Such notice shall
 include a description of the proposed project and its location, and may
 be sent in conjunction with any other notice required by state or local
 law, ordinance, rule or regulation for the said project. The cost of
 mailing said notice shall be borne by the applicant.
 4. Agricultural data statement; content. An agricultural data
 statement shall include the following information: the name and address
 of the applicant; a description of the proposed project and its
 location; the name and address of any owner of land within the
 agricultural district, which land contains farm operations and is
 located within five hundred feet of the boundary of the property upon
 which the project is proposed; and a tax map or other map showing the
 site of the proposed project relative to the location of farm operations
 identified in the agricultural data statement.
 
 305-b. Review of proposed rules and regulations of state agencies
 affecting the agricultural industry.
 
 Upon request of the state advisory
 council on agriculture, or upon his or her own initiative, the
 commissioner may review and comment upon a proposed rule or regulation
 by another state agency which may have an adverse impact on agriculture
 and farm operations in this state, and file such comment with the
 proposing agency and the administrative regulations review commission.
 Each comment shall be in sufficient detail to advise the proposing
 agency of the adverse impact on agriculture and farm operations and the
 recommended modifications. The commissioner shall prepare a status
 report of any actions taken in accordance with this section and include
 it in the department's annual report.
 
 306. Agricultural lands outside of districts; agricultural
 assessments. 
 
1. Any owner of land used in agricultural production
 outside of an agricultural district shall be eligible for an
 agricultural assessment as provided herein. If an applicant rents land
 from another for use in conjunction with the applicant's land for the
 production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products, the gross
 sales value of such products on such rented land shall be added to the
 gross sales value of such products produced on the land of the applicant
 for purposes of determining eligibility for an agricultural assessment
 on the land of the applicant.
 Such assessment shall be granted pursuant to paragraphs a, b and f of
 subdivision one of section three hundred five of this article as if such
 land were in an agricultural district, provided the landowner annually
 submits to the assessor an application for an agricultural assessment on
 or before the taxable status date. In the year of a revaluation or
 update of assessments, as those terms are defined in section one hundred
 two of the real property tax law, the application may be filed with the
 assessor no later than the thirtieth day prior to the day by which the
 tentative assessment roll is required to be filed by law. Nothing
 therein shall be construed to limit an applicant's discretion to
 withhold from such application any land, or portion thereof, contained
 within a single operation.
 2. a. (i) If land which received an agricultural assessment pursuant
 to this section is converted at any time within eight years from the
 time an agricultural assessment was last received, such conversion shall
 subject the land so converted to payments in compensation for the prior
 benefits of agricultural assessments. The amount of the payments shall
 be equal to five times the taxes saved in the last year in which land
 benefited from an agricultural assessment, plus interest of six percent
 per year compounded annually for each year in which an agricultural
 assessment was granted, not exceeding five years.
 (ii) The amount of taxes saved for the last year in which the land
 benefited from an agricultural assessment shall be determined by
 applying the applicable tax rates to the amount of assessed valuation of
 such land in excess of the agricultural assessment of such land as set
 forth on the last assessment roll which indicates such an excess. If
 only a portion of such land as described on the assessment roll is
 converted, the assessor shall apportion the assessment and agricultural
 assessment attributable to the converted portion, as determined for the
 last assessment roll on which the assessment of such portion exceeded
 its agricultural assessment. The difference between the apportioned
 assessment and the apportioned agricultural assessment shall be the
 amount upon which payments shall be determined. Payments shall be levied
 in the same manner as other taxes, by or on behalf of each taxing
 jurisdiction on the assessment roll prepared on the basis of the first
 taxable status date on which the assessor considers the land to have
 been converted; provided, however, that no payments shall be imposed if
 the last assessment roll upon which the property benefited from an
 agricultural assessment, was more than eight years prior to the year for
 which the assessment roll upon which payments would otherwise be levied
 is prepared.
 (iii) Whenever a conversion occurs, the owner shall notify the
 assessor within ninety days of the date such conversion is commenced. If
 the landowner fails to make such notification within the ninety day
 period, the assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may
 impose a penalty on behalf of the assessing unit of up to two times the
 total payments owed, but not to exceed a maximum total penalty of five
 hundred dollars in addition to any payments owed.
 b. (i) An assessor who determines that there is liability for payments
 and any penalties pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph shall
 notify the landowner of such liability at least ten days prior to the
 day for hearing of complaints in relation to assessments. Such notice
 shall specify the area subject to payments and shall describe how such
 payments shall be determined. Failure to provide such notice shall not
 affect the levy, collection, or enforcement of payments.
 (ii) Liability for payments shall be subject to administrative and
 judicial review as provided by law for the review of assessments.
 (iii) An assessor who imposes any such payments shall annually, and
 within forty-five days following the date on which the final assessment
 roll is required to be filed, report such payments to the state board of
 real property services on a form prescribed by the state board.
 (iv) The assessing unit, by majority vote of the government body, may
 impose a minimum payment amount, not to exceed one hundred dollars.
 c. If such land or any portion thereof is converted by virtue of oil,
 gas or wind exploration, development, or extraction activity or by
 virtue of a taking by eminent domain or other involuntary proceeding
 other than a tax sale, the land or portion so converted shall not be
 subject to payments. If land so converted constitutes only a portion of
 a parcel described on the assessment roll, the assessor shall apportion
 the assessment, and adjust the agricultural assessment attributable to
 the portion of the parcel not subject to such conversion by subtracting
 the proportionate part of the agricultural assessment attributable to
 the portion so converted. Provided further that land outside an
 agricultural district and eligible for an agricultural assessment
 pursuant to this section shall not be considered to have been converted
 to a use other than for agricultural production solely due to the
 conveyance of oil, gas or wind rights associated with that land.
 d. The purchase of land in fee by the city of New York for watershed
 protection purposes or the conveyance of a conservation easement by the
 city of New York to the department of environmental conservation which
 prohibits future use of the land for agricultural purposes shall not be
 a conversion of parcels and no payment for the prior benefits of
 agricultural assessments shall be due under this section.
 3. Upon the inclusion of such agricultural lands in an agricultural
 district formed pursuant to section three hundred three, the provisions
 of section three hundred five shall be controlling.
 4. A payment levied pursuant to subparagraph (i) of paragraph a of
 subdivision two of this section shall be a lien on the entire parcel
 containing the converted land, notwithstanding that less than the entire
 parcel was converted.
 5. Use of assessment for certain purposes. The governing body of a
 water, lighting, sewer, sanitation, fire, fire protection, or ambulance
 district for whose benefit a special assessment or a special ad valorem
 levy is imposed, may adopt a resolution to provide that the assessments
 determined pursuant to subdivision one of this section for property
 within the district shall be used for the special assessment or special
 ad valorem levy of such special district.
 
 307. Promulgation of rules and regulations. 
 
The state board of real
 property services and the commissioner are each empowered to promulgate
 such rules and regulations and to prescribe such forms as each shall
 deem necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article, and the
 commissioner is further empowered to promulgate such rules and
 regulations as are necessary to provide for the reasonable consolidation
 of existing agricultural districts with new agricultural districts or
 with other existing districts undergoing modification pursuant to
 section three hundred three of this article. Where a document or any
 other paper or information is required, by such rules and regulations,
 or by any provision of this article, to be filed with, or by, a county
 clerk or any other local official, such clerk or other local official
 may file such document, paper, or information as he deems proper, but he
 shall also file or record it in any manner directed by the state board
 of real property services, by rule or regulation. In promulgating such a
 rule or regulation, such board shall consider, among any other relevant
 factors, the need for security of land titles, the requirement that
 purchasers of land know of all potential tax and penalty liabilities,
 and the desirability that the searching of titles not be further
 complicated by the establishment of new sets of record books.
 
 308. Right to farm. 
 
1. a. The commissioner shall, in consultation
 with the state advisory council on agriculture, issue opinions upon
 request from any person as to whether particular agricultural practices
 are sound.
 b. Sound agricultural practices refer to those practices necessary for
 the on-farm production, preparation and marketing of agricultural
 commodities. Examples of activities which entail practices the
 commissioner may consider include, but are not limited to, operation of
 farm equipment; proper use of agricultural chemicals and other crop
 protection methods; direct sale to consumers of agricultural commodities
 or foods containing agricultural commodities produced on-farm;
 agricultural tourism; production, management and harvesting of "farm
 woodland", as defined in subdivision three of section three hundred one
 of this article and construction and use of farm structures. The
 commissioner shall consult appropriate state agencies and any guidelines
 recommended by the advisory council on agriculture. The commissioner may
 consult as appropriate, the New York state college of agriculture and
 life sciences and the U.S.D.A. natural resources conservation service.
 The commissioner shall also consider whether the agricultural practices
 are conducted by a farm owner or operator as part of his or her
 participation in the AEM program as set forth in article eleven-A of
 this chapter. Such practices shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
 2. Upon the issuance of an opinion pursuant to this section, the
 commissioner shall publish a notice in a newspaper having a general
 circulation in the area surrounding the practice and notice shall be
 given in writing to the owner of the property on which the practice is
 conducted and any adjoining property owners. The opinion of the
 commissioner shall be final, unless within thirty days after publication
 of the notice a person affected thereby institutes a proceeding to
 review the opinion in the manner provided by article seventy-eight of
 the civil practice law and rules.
 3. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, on any land in an
 agricultural district created pursuant to section three hundred three or
 land used in agricultural production subject to an agricultural
 assessment pursuant to section three hundred six of this article, an
 agricultural practice shall not constitute a private nuisance, when an
 action is brought by a person, provided such agricultural practice
 constitutes a sound agricultural practice pursuant to an opinion issued
 upon request by the commissioner. Nothing in this section shall be
 construed to prohibit an aggrieved party from recovering damages for
 personal injury or wrongful death.
 4. The commissioner, in consultation with the state advisory council
 on agriculture, shall issue an opinion within thirty days upon request
 from any person as to whether particular land uses are agricultural in
 nature. Such land use decisions shall be evaluated on a case-by-case
 basis.
 5. The commissioner shall develop and make available to prospective
 grantors and purchasers of real property located partially or wholly
 within any agricultural district in this state and to the general
 public, practical information related to the right to farm as set forth
 in this article including, but not limited to right to farm disclosure
 requirements established pursuant to section three hundred ten of this
 article and section three hundred thirty-three-c of the real property
 law.