The purpose of the Iredell County Farmland Preservation Program is to protect and encourage the improvement and voluntary preservation of its agricultural and forest lands. The ordinance does this by limiting the circumstances under which an agricultural or forestry operation may be deemed to be a nuisance by establishing farmland districts. This is in recognition of the importance to the economic and cultural life of the county.
The General Assembly of the State of North Carolina authorizes counties to undertake a series of programs to encourage the preservation of farmlands. This statutory authority is found in Chapter 61 of the North Carolina General Statutes. On June 19, 2001 the Iredell County Board of Commissioners adopted the Voluntary Farmland Preservation Ordinance for Iredell County, North Carolina.
This ordinance allows for the creation of the Farmland Preservation Board. This Board reviews and approves all applications for qualified farmland and agricultural districts. The Board also advises the Board of Commissioners on issues affecting the agricultural community as well as the agricultural districts.
During the 2002-2003 year, the Farmland Preservation Board took an active role by designing and distributing farmland preservation signs. This included deciding on the design and finding the funding (Farm Credit and Farm Bureau) for the signs. The Farmland Preservation Board has also given recommendations to the Iredell County Board of Commissioners for amendments to the Iredell County Zoning Ordinance that relate to farmland activities and they also held meetings about exploring other farmland preservation tools (PDR, agriculture zoning, etc).
Agricultural Districts shall initially consist of 25 or more acres or be within 1 mile of an existing district of qualifying farmland, or at least 2 or more qualifying farms, which collectively will create a district. Application Agricultural Districts can be enlarge by adding other qualified farms and non-farm landowners contiguous to the agricultural districts.
Participants must sign a preservation agreement that prohibits non-farm use or development of such land for at least 10 years, except for the creation of not more than 3 lots that meet applicable County Zoning and subdivision regulations. Participants also agree to sustain, promote, and encourage agricultural in the district and support protection against impacts on participating farms.
A complete list of requirements is available at the Iredell County Planning and Development Department or at the Iredell County Cooperative Extension Office.
- Farmland Information Brochure (PDF)
- Countywide Farmland Protection Plan - October 2008 (PDF)
- Farmland Ordinance (PDF)
- Enhanced Farmland Preservation Ordinance (PDF)
- Farmland Application (PDF): begins the review process for potential inclusion into the Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program
- Farmland Preservation Map (PDF): shows the Farmland Preservation Districts in Iredell County
- Farmland Preservation Ordinance: details the Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program, the qualifications, how to apply, and Board procedures
Note: You must complete the Farmland Application form and submit it to the Planning and Development Department’s Farmland contacts in order to be included in the Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program.