Wednesday, June 12, 2024

JCC Supervisors Renew More Than 15,000 Acres as Agricultural and Forestal Districts

jcc_new_logoThe James City County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to renew the Agricultural and Forestal District designations at 11 sites in the county, a move that enshrines the land for the next four years as farming and forestry areas.

The lands encompass 15,280.98 acres and are spread out across the county, ranging from Carter’s Grove near the Newport News line to Christenson’s Corner in the northern end of the county. The supervisors also voted unanimously Tuesday to add 95.51 acres on Diascund Road to the Mill Creek AFD, which was renewed.

The supervisors followed the recommendation of county staff, the James City County Planning Commission and the AFD Advisory Committee, all of which recommended each of the AFDs be renewed for four-year terms.

A public hearing was held for anyone who wanted to say anything about the renewal of the more than 15,000 acres of land as AFDs. The one citizen who spoke, Joe Swanenburg, said he thought the AFD program is “fantastic.”

The supervisors had no discussion about the renewals.

The districts all remained intact with the exception of the Gospel Spreading Church Farm AFD, located in the southern end of the county near Jamestown Island. The owner of a property near the Gatehouse Farms subdivision requested the removal of 3,200 square feet of land to use for the construction of a construction equipment storage area.

AFDs must consist of at least 200 acres used only for farming and forestal activities. Farming includes production of crops, orchards, horticulture, livestock and related products for commercial uses, while forestry includes the creation of lumber, pulpwood, posts, Christmas trees and other wood products for farm use or sale, according to an information sheet on AFDs from the James City County Planning Division.

The first AFD in James City County was created in 1986, about 10 years after the General Assembly passed legislation allowing municipalities to create the districts.

Property owners participating in the AFD program receive a tax perk and are protected from development, according to the sheet.

The AFDs renewed Tuesday are as follows:

  • Armistead, located near the Warhill Sports Complex
  • Barnes Swamp, located near the New Kent County line
  • Carter’s Grove, located near the Newport News line
  • Christenson’s Corner, located near the York River
  • Croaker, located around the Croaker area
  • Gordon’s Creek, located near the Chickahominy River
  • Gospel Spreading Church Farm, located near Jamestown Island
  • Hill Pleasant Farm, located near Airport Road
  • Mill Creek, located throughout lands west of Toano
  • Yarmouth Creek, located along the Chickahominy River
  • Cranston’s Pond, located near Little Creek Reservoir

Maps detailing more precise locations are available here.

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