Implementation Strategies and Actions

Implementation Strategies and Actions

ACTION ITEM/STRATEGY PRIMARY JURISDICTION PRIMARY DOERS STATUS
Action Step Primary Responsibility Other Responsible Parties Comments
1. Create Agricultural Coordinator position Center of Excellence County Commissioners Not needed at this time.
2. County Commissioners should hold semi-annual county-wide meetings, with outside facilitation, to listen to rural and agricultural people. County Commissioners County Commissioners
3. Municipalities are strongly encouraged to create an Agriculture Advisory Panel to advise municipal officials on issues dealing with or impacting agriculture prior to the municipality implementing/formulating ordinances, taxes, or land use policies Municipalities LCPC
LCATS
Producers
Several munies have implemented some form of this (where there is not good ag representation already on Board); some formal like Penn Township, some informal like Salisbury.

LCATS to discuss at Spring meeting and regional meetings.

4. County Commissioners adopt as policy the “Good Neighbor” language contained in the Penn State Cooperative Extension’s pamphlet “Understanding Your Community’s Agriculture.” County Commissioners LCPC
PS CoopExt
5. Agriculture/business summit be convened to discuss issues concerning the balance of preserving agriculture and growth within Lancaster County County Commissioners Chamber
County Commissioners
Center of Excellence
6. Create a resource guide (map/fold-out brochure) w/farms, special events, and other agriculture-related sites that people could visit, ie. Funk’s Farm, Amazing Maize Maze, Family Farm Days, etc. Center of Excellence
Visitors Bureau
LCVB
Chamber Ag Comm
7. Provide new residents welcome packet to townships and the Lancaster County Association of Realtors Center of Excellence
LCAR
LCPC various brochures/booklets such as “Finding the Common Ground – Understanding Your Community’s Agriculture” from Penn State, “Lancaster County Farming Facts” from the Lancaster Chamber, the guide to various farm markets, etc. already exist, just need to package and distribute
8. Create an “Ag Directory” that lists all of the agriculture-related agencies/groups in the county with a bulleted list of the services they provide and contact information. Center of Excellence Chamber Ag. Comm
Center of Excellence
Lancaster Farming Newspaper has a guide compiled that could be produced and marketed differently and distributed to public officials, media, the Lancaster County Association of Realtors and the agriculture-related agencies/groups that are mentioned in the guide for ultimate distribution to citizens as needed – this should be on the web, also.
8. Provide opportunities for education at public locations such as the grocery store, school cafeteria, movie theater, restaurants, etc Center of Excellence Chamber Ag Comm
10. Coordinate a farm-city exchange for individuals or small groups (ie. large farm to small farm or farm to urban garden) Center of Excellence local service groups (Rotary, Jaycees, etc.)
11. Coordinate a program with workforce development/placement professionals and agencies to place teens in positions on farms and in ag-related businesses Center of Excellence WIB
Center of Excellence
Currently being discussed with Center Partners
12. Establish a program where students can receive tuition reimbursement for agreeing to work a certain number of years at specified locations that support agriculture Legislative Delegation Legislature, higher ed, ag businesses
13. Confirm and ensure that the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board’s programs are inclusive to agriculture-related businesses Center of Excellence WIB
Ag Business
Completed.
14. LCPC should develop guiding principles and criteria for identifying effective agricultural zoning and develop appropriate effective agricultural zoning options for municipal consideration County Commissioners LCPC
LCATS
Producers
In lieu of recommendation for sample ordinances, “guiding principals” and inventory of current ordinances are being developed. Spring ’07 completion anticipated
15. A full-time LCPC staff position dedicated to rural matters is recommended County Commissioners LCPC
County Commissioners
Completed.
16. Assist municipalities (financial and technical assistance) to bring local plans and ordinances into alignment with the urban policies and new growth and density targets contained in the Growth Management Element Update County Commissioners LCPC
County Commissioners
Boroughs
Townships
Rumor that some have been granted
17. County establish grant program to fund local plan/ordinance updates and to fund capital improvements that will help urban communities absorb the higher densities and the expanded growth included in the Growth Management Element Update County Commissioners LCPC
County Commissioners
Boroughs
Townships
Rumor that some have been granted although no verification that they are tied to county plan, etc.
18. The County should borrow and allocate more money toward farmland preservation County Commissioners County Commissioners Completed and in process for the future. In August 2005, Commissioners announced issue of $25 million bond in 2006 and 2007, with a significant portion of that amount to be utilized for farmland preservation
19. The County should appoint a group whose task is to identify potential sources of dedicated funding to help with preservation in the future County Commissioners County Commissioners
APB
20. County Chief Administrative Officer and the Chief Clerk work with the Board of Commissioners to add the topic of BRC Progress Reports on agendas for 2 Board of Commissioner meetings in 2006. County Commissioners County Chief Clerk
County CAO
Timeframe passed; the Director of LCPC will provide ongoing communication to the County Commissioners from the Center of Excellence
21. Create a not-for-profit corporation created in a phased approach to concentrate and coordinate business resources to allow producers to successfully maintain their competitiveness and provide centralized leadership and access in seeking out new opportunities. Center of Excellence Center Partners
Chamber
EDC
Not needed at this time; Center of Excellence to fill the role with the possibility of becoming a not-for-profit corporation in the future
22. Investigate and seek grants to develop and sustain the Ag Development Council/Corporation Center of Excellence Center Partners
Chamber
EDC
Funding for 2007 has been secured; sustainability issue will be ongoing
23. Develop a strategy for a long range solution for manure management issues that will be affordable to producers and may also generate profit. Center of Excellence
Manure Council
Chamber Ag
Cons. Dist.
Summit conducted on 1/4/07. Plan due by 6/30/07
24. Serve as a resource for farmers to take their ideas for innovations and, in appropriate cases, help them share their ideas or even turn them into financial benefit (e.g., patents). Center of Excellence Center partners
Co. Econ Dev planning
25. Recognize and assist in the expansion of the Buy Fresh/Buy Local Lancaster County label Center of Excellence Everyone Ongoing. Program running in coordination with PA Preferred and other state partners
26. Seek grant money for Agricultural Development such as First Industries Fund. Center of Excellence

EDC

EDC Ongoing. Program already in place and operating.
27. Identify market niches or specialty products such as organics, aquatics, burley tobacco, etc., that would be viable options for Lancaster County producers and facilitate training for producers to make transition or diversification. Center of Excellence Center of Excellence Partners
Outside LanCo expertise
28. Identify new solutions and provide education to help producers better address environmental problems. Investigate the feasibility of like nutrient trading programs Center of Excellence
Manure Council
Center of Excellence Summit conducted on 1/4/07. Plan due by 6/30/07
29. County Commissioners should call for and facilitate a meeting of local legislative delegation, PA Farm Bureau and PennAg to present recommendations of the BRC and request current efforts and status of initiatives and in the absence of such initiatives request assistance in having these issues addressed proactively at the state level County Commissioners County Commissioners
30. County Commissioners should send a clear message to PDA, DEP, The Governors Office, as well as every one of Lancaster Counties elected officials that Lancaster County Agriculture must have a ‘seat at the table’ either through our elected officials or otherwise – during any/all discussion of proposed regulations which may have an impact on Agriculture. County Commissioners County Commissioners
31. Investigate development of a renewable fuels market; have person or organization develop an alternative energy strategy for bio fuels, wind, etc. Center of Excellence Center Partners
Manure Council
Environmental orgs/agencies
EDC
Legislative Delegation
32. Coordinate with the Lancaster County Buy Fresh/Buy Local Campaign in the development of relationships with farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, senior citizen facilities, educational and health institutions to use and promote local products. Center of Excellence Center partners
Ag businesses
33. Provide low-interest loans, grants and creative financing Center of Excellence
EDC
EDC
Center of Excellence
Ongoing. Program already in place and operating.
34. Recruit businesses/manufacturers (e.g., vegetable processors, chicken processors, milk processors) that would provide new contracts, opportunities for new agricultural markets Center of Excellence Co EDP
EDC
35. Provide an easily accessible, single clearing house for all regulatory permitting pertaining to agriculture. Center of Excellence
36. Connect producers to market research, innovative ideas, training and resources to transform or improve operation to yield higher profit. Center of Excellence Center partners
37. Compile a producer directory by categories like: roadside stand, desires to sell wholesale vegetables, desire to raise livestock, desires to raise fish, currently in a certain crop and desire to expand for wholesale and retail connections opportunities. Center of Excellence Center partners
38. Coordinate with the County Planning Commission and the Lancaster-York Heritage Region to provide a county “Agricultural Web Page” for locals and tourists to identify roadside stands, agricultural tours, places they want to visit while in LancasterCounty. Center of Excellence LCVB
LCPC
39. The Lancaster County Commissioners should exempt or greatly reduce (by at least 50%) county real estate taxes on preserved farms. County Comm County Commissioners While exemption is not probable; proposal for freeze has been made (Warwick SD) and could be modeled.
40. The Lancaster County legislative delegation should work to enact an exemption from the state real estate transfer tax on the sale of a preserved farm. Leg Delegation Leg Delegation
41. The Lancaster County legislative delegation should work to enact a change to allow the State of Pennsylvania’s First Industry program to offer a lower interest rate for loans to owners of preserved farms, below the current reduction of 1% from the normal loan rate, and approaching or equaling the loan rate offered by PennVest, which currently is 1%. Leg Delegation Leg Delegation
42. The Lancaster County Commissioners should voice their support for Congressman Pitts’s bill to forgive capital gains taxes on the sale of a conservation easement to preserve farmland. County Commissioners County Commissioners
43. The Lancaster County legislative delegation should support Senate Bill 252 to amend the Tax Reform Code by reducing the valuation of farmland upon which an easement has been placed through the Agricultural Area Security Law (the state farmland preservation program) to $1.00 per acre for inheritance tax purposes. Legislative delegation should also support an amendment that would also include farms preserved by private farmland trusts. Leg Delegation Leg Delegation
44. The County Ag Preserve Board together with the Lancaster Farmland Trust, and financial and legal advisors, should offer more regular education for farmers who have preserved their land or are looking to preserve their land, so that they are aware of estate planning and farm transfer options as well as how to use the farmland preservation money to benefit future generations on the farm. APB
LFT
APB
LFT
Financial and legal community
45. The State Farmland Preservation Board and/or the state legislature should change the state farmland preservation ranking system top reduce the 40% minimum weighting on soils to 25% to enable counties to give a higher weighting for applicant farms that are adjacent to preserved farms and other applicant farms. APB APB
Leg Delegation
46. The Lancaster County Commissioners should recommend to PennDOT, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and townships that road expansion proposals should include an environmental impact study, especially the impacts on prime soils and farming, with the goal of minimizing the negative impacts on prime soils and farming operations. County Commissioners County Commissioners
LCPC
47. The Lancaster County Commissioners should apply for a grant under the federal transportation act (SAFE-TEA-LU) to preserve farms along scenic highways where several farms have already been preserved. County Commissioners LCPC
48. The State Farmland Preservation Board and/or the state legislature should allow county funds used jointly with a township to preserve farmland to count for state matching fund purposes to increase county efforts to preserve farmland jointly with townships. Leg Delegation Senator Wenger Completed.
49. Director of the County Agricultural Preserve Board should share the BRC Farmland Preservation Group’s recommended changes to the state farmland preservation program with the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Administrators organization. These changes include: 1) Reducing the percentage weighting on soils; and 2) allowing county funds used jointly with township funds to count for state matching fund purposes. APB APB Director
50. The County Commissioners should only support or fund road expansion projects in townships that have an adopted Agricultural Security Area. County Commissioners County Commissioners
51. For each acre of prime soils removed from production because of a road expansion, any and all funders of road expansions—the township, PennDOT, county, federal government, or private providers—must preserve at least 10 acres elsewhere in Lancaster County, but within an Agricultural Security Area.
52. As the county works to implement the County Comprehensive Plan Update, the County Planning Commission should promote and continue to do research on TDR programs. LCPC LCPC
LCATS
LFT
Workgroup working on promoting and guiding munies re TDRs
53. The County Planning Commission should develop model TDR ordinances both for single townships and for multi-municipal plans. LCPC LFT
LCPC
LCATS
APB
Currently being developed using models from successful programs
54. The County Planning Commission should explore options for the administration of local TDR programs in the county. LFT LFT
LCPC
LCATS
APB
Like following team already at work with leadership of LFT
55. The County Planning Commission, Smart Growth Coalition, and the county township supervisors’ association should conduct workshops and educational programs about TDRs for elected officials, developers, and landowners. LFT LFT
LCPC
LCATS
APB
Already underway by LFT with partners. Rollout planned for Spring ‘07
56. The County should offer financial incentives to townships that implement their own TDR program or a multi-municipal TDR program. County Commissioners LCPC
57. The Lancaster County Commissioners should enact a hotel/motel tax for purposes that include farmland preservation. County Commissioners County Commissioners
58. The Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee should encourage businesses to donate a portion of their proceeds for farmland preservation, as the Strasburg Railroad and Turkey Hill are doing. Chamber Ag Committee? LFT
Individual businesses
Currently sought and donated on individual basis
59. Tourist attractions should consider creating a give-a-dollar program for farmland preservation. Individual businesses Individual businesses
LFT
Currently sought and donated on individual basis
60. The County Strategic Tourism and Cultural Heritage Plans should emphasize the connection between agriculture and tourism, and agriculture and cultural heritage. LCVB LCVB
LCPC
61. Consumers should be directed toward companies that share their values about farmland preservation. ?? Landcare U.S could begin in LanCo?
62. Use Section 7.1 (b) of Pennsylvania Act 153 of 1996 (Open Space Preservation by Local Governments) as a mechanism for freezing the school millage on preserved farms. County Commissioners
School Boards
Townships
County Commissioners
School Boards
Townships
Warwick Tnshp & SD are trying to create model for others, County needs to sign on to partnership
63. A subcommittee should be formed to interact with the Lancaster County Tax Assessment Office and the Lancaster County Commissioners to periodically evaluate the current valuations of ag production building and to determine the equitability of such. County Commissioners County Commissioners
Tax Assessment Office
64. A shorter-cycle (3 to 5 years) tax assessment be considered to serve as a control to the fickle nature of the market and provide agricultural property owners with a sense of comfort in regard to the valuations. County Commissioners County Commissioners
Tax Assessment Office
The capability for such tax assessment cycles and for evaluating established assessment values currently exists, it just needs to be exercised by County.
65. Advocate for a permanent raise of the exemption criteria of the estate tax. Congress Congressman Pitts
County Commissioners
66. Offer a percentage discount on all local taxes to property owners who build within the established designated growth area. All growth (residential, commercial, industrial) should be directed to the designated growth area and be offered a limited-time tax abatement. County Commissioners County Commissioners
Taxing entities
67. Educate individuals and governments as to the existing incentive programs that encourage residential, commercial, and industrial growth to designated. (KOZ) Program, The Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) Program, and The Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) Program County
Center of Excellence
PSATS
LCPC
PA Assoc of Boroughs
68. Advocate for the elimination or reduction of the capital gains tax on the sale of development rights through either conservation easements or transfer. The elimination of the capital gains tax on such transactions will encourage preservation rather than the outright sale of land. Congress County Commissioners
Public
69. Implement an educational outreach program focusing on the need for smart financial planning within the farming community. Center of Excellence PSATS, LCPC, BRC Leadership, PA Grange, National Grange of the Order of Patrons on Husbandry
Penn State Extension
70. Implement a training program for the legal community concerning agricultural financial planning issues. Bar Association
Center of Excellence
Bar Association
71. County should establish a subcommittee to further discuss viable options to reduce impact of the capital gains tax on the transfer of farm ownership from family member to family member. Congress Congressman Pitts
County Commissioners
Leg Delegation
72. Research tax abatement programs proposed in other states that would provide an enticement for individuals to enter the ag industry to determine the applicability of such programs to Lancaster County and the rest of Pennsylvania. Leg. Delegation Leg Delegation Researched Illinois and others. Difficult to find identical match to PA constitution.
73. The County Commissioners should create a County‑level position for a services coordinator for agriculture and provide such person with adequate support staff. The role of this position would be to serve as an interface or liaison between the producer and the regulators, including townships, the Conservation District and the state. This position must be filled by a person with a broad understanding and knowledge of the regulatory process and regulations of the local, county, state and federal levels. County Commissioners LCATS
LCPC
Cons. District has someone assigned to this role.

Could Dean’s role be refined to fill include this? Has it already been?

74. Township representatives should meet with producer representative to review zoning ordinances to determine whether amendments are needed to eliminate incompatible uses that create conflicts with agricultural uses over time and/or to streamline the procedure to obtain zoning permits. LCATS LCATS
LCPC
LCATS developing Spring Conf on this and setting up regional mtgs w/LCPC
75. The County should use financial or other incentives as a means to encourage townships to make amendments to zoning ordinances to eliminate incompatible uses and/or streamline the procedure to obtain zoning permits. County Commissioners LCPC
76. The County Commissioners must develop and maintain open communication, supported by a high level of trust and integrity with township leaders, agricultural support organizations and with the producer community. County Commissioners County Commissioners
77. Those who regulate and permit on-farm businesses must understand these businesses provide needed supplemental income to the producer. (Ie The type of on-farm businesses should not be unnecessarily regulated, but their size should be controlled so as not to be a nuisance to the agricultural area in which they are located) Townships Zoning officers
LCATS
LCPC
LCATS planning regional mtgs & education of zoning officers