Virginia

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Fairfax County, VA: Zoning Ordinance (Cluster Development Standards)

Sections 3-C and 3-E of the Fairfax County Virginia Zoning Ordinance authorize cluster development in specific zones. Cluster development is most effective when open space requirements are mandatory and the open land is protected by a conservation easement. Fairfax County, Virginia, requires between 25 to 50 percent of the total area of a subdivision to be open space depending on the type of subdivision.

Finding a Place to Grow: How the Next Generation is Gaining Access to Farmland

These stories were developed to help potential next-generation farmers and non-farming landowners who are interested in leasing their land. It includes eight profiles of successful farmland lease arrangements in Virginia. The profiles demonstrate the various options that landowners and beginning farmers have to establish partnerships and prudently share risks, responsibilities and rewards.

Planning the Future of Your Farm

For many landowners, their farm is or has been their business. For many, it is also a home, security, and a mix of tangibles and intangibles that will affect decisions about what to do with this land. This workbook was developed to help families harness these tangibles and intangibles into an orderly and productive process of planning. Hopefully, this process will produce the legal tools necessary to manage the risks of farm transfer.

Virginia Farm Link Program

Virginia Farm Link is a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). It is designed to help retiring farmers and landowners who want their land to remain in production and beginning and expanding farmers who want to acquire land, equipment and information on innovative farming methods and farm business management. Virginia Farm Link offers farm transition workshops and resources, and a database of farm seekers and farm owners.

Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Survey Final Report

In spring 2011, the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition designed and implemented an online survey to identfy Virginia beginning farmer and rancher demographic characteristcs, program area needs, and program delivery preferences. The survey was developed by drawing upon community‐based participatory research principles where the Coalition directly participated in the survey design and implementaion. Survey results guided the development of the Virginia Whole Farm Planning Curriculum.

Virginia House Bill 1430 (2013)

This bill expands the definition of agricultural operations to include the commerce of farm-to-business and farm-to-consumer sales as well as commerce in other related items. The bill creates a rebuttable presumption that an agricultural operation is in compliance with local zoning ordinances when it operates on property that is zoned agricultural.

Virginia House Bill 766 (2012)

Creates the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund. The bill establishes an economic development grant and loan program targeted specifically at agricultural and forestry operations. Grants and loans will be awarded to support localities' efforts to attract value-added or processing facilities using Virginia-grown products. Under the program, localities will apply for grants or loans after having established a relationship with a new or expanding business. This bill is identical to SB 128.

Review of the Effectiveness of Virginia Tax Preferences

Like most states, Virginia uses tax preferences to achieve specific
policy goals. Because tax preferences are not subject to the State
budgetary process, they often remain in effect, sometimes indefinitely, without any evaluation of their effectiveness. Little information is available about tax preferences, including which ones should be continued because they are effective, and which ones could be revised to improve their effectiveness or eliminated altogether.

Virginia House Bill 1549 (2011)

Provides for the Department of General Services to establish procurement procedures to facilitate the purchase of Virginia-grown food products by state agencies and institutions and local public school divisions to the maximum extent possible. The bill also provides local school divisions with an exemption from competitive sealed bidding under certain circumstances when procuring Virginia-grown food products for student consumption.

Building Communities with Farms: Insights from Developers, Architects and Farmers on Integrating Agriculture and Development

This report summarizes findings from workshop on incorporating agriculture into new communities and reviews practices and issues that landowners, developers, design consultants and public officials might find useful as they consider building or encouraging communities with farms.

Local Food System Assessment for Northern Virginia

The study assesses the feasibility of building a successful fruit and vegetable aggregation and distribution system in the Northern Virginia agricultural crescent around Washington D.C. that contributes local and regional products into the existing wholesale commercial food system. The outcome is intended to inform local food system business development efforts in this region and other analogous markets.

Virginia House Bill 1725 (2011)

Creates the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund, to consist of funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly and other public or private sources. The funds will be used solely for the purposes of preserving farmland in the Commonwealth and will be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Managing Growth and Development in Virginia: A Review of the Tools Available to Localities

Planning is a multi-faceted process localities use to prepare for change. In many respects, it is like the sequencing of steps and activities people and organizations have used for centuries to prepare for the future. Accordingly, it is important to realize that planning is an activity as old as humankind itself. Indeed, the capacity of the human mind to project beyond present reality helps explain, at least in part, civilization’s steady march forward.

Suffolk, Virginia: Unified Development Ordinance

This Suffolk, Virginia Ordinance is intended to improve the public health, safety, convenience and welfare of the citizens of the City of Suffolk, to plan for the future development of communities to the end that transportation systems be carefully planned; to provide for new community centers to be developed with adequate highway, utility, health, educational, and recreational facilities; to recognize the need for mineral resources and the needs of agriculture, industry and business be recognized in future growth; to provide residential areas with healthy surroundings for family life; to p

Virginia House Bill 582 (2010)

Provides the Center for Rural Virginia with the additional authority to facilitate the development of incentives and to provide a forum for competing interests to allow for job creation and expanded economic opportunities for farm businesses and rural enterprises while ensuring the rights of localities to develop reasonable regulations of such farm businesses and rural enterprises to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents.

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