Article VIII – Agricultural Districts
Part One - Voluntary Agricultural Districts
§ 45-25. Purpose.
The purpose of voluntary agricultural districts shall be to encourage the economic and financial well-being of
farming areas, to increase protection from nuisance suits, undesirable nonfarm development and other negative
impacts on participating farms and to increase the identity and pride in the agricultural community and its way
of life.
§ 45-26.Application Procedure.
A.
An agricultural district shall initially consist of one or more qualifying farms which 
collectively consist (or, in the case of one farm only, individually consists) 
of at least 50 acres of qualifying farmland lying (if more than one farm) within one 
mile of each other. An agricultural district may be enlarged by adding qualifying 
farms subsequent to initial formation so long as such qualifying farms are within one 
mile of any farm in such district.
B.
An agreement to sustain, encourage and promote agriculture must be executed by 
each applicant in the district and submitted to the Agricultural Advisory Board for 
approval.
C.
Landowners may apply to participate in existing districts and are encouraged to do 
so. 
D.
To secure County certification as an agricultural district, a landowner, for such 
designation, will apply to the Chairman of the Agricultural Advisory Board. 
Application forms may be obtained from the Chairman at the Soil and Water 
Conservation District office or at the office of the Henderson County Planning 
Department.
E.
Upon receipt of an application, the Chairman will forward copies immediately to the 
Henderson County Assessor's office and the Henderson County Soil and Water 
Conservation District office for evaluation pursuant to Article IV. Said offices shall 
evaluate, complete and return their copies to the Chairman within 30 days of receipt.
F.
Within 30 days of receipt of respective reports from the County Assessor and the 
Soil and Water Conservation District office, the Board will meet and render a 
decision regarding the application. The Chairman will notify the applicant by mail of 
the Board's decision.
G.
If the application is denied by the Agricultural Advisory Board, the petitioner has 30 
days to appeal the decision to the Henderson County Board of Commissioners. Such 
appeal shall be presented in writing. The decision of the Board of Commissioners is 
final.
§ 45-27.Maps; Public Notice. 
A.
Voluntary agricultural districts will be marked on official maps maintained by the 
Land Records Office of the Henderson County Tax Assessor, displayed for public 
view in the following County locations: 
(1)
Register of Deeds.
(2)
Soil and Water Conservation.
(3)
Henderson County Tax Assessor’s offices.
(4)
Official Henderson County electronic land records.
(5)
Any other office deemed necessary or advisable by the Board of 
Commissioners.
B.
The following notice, of a size and form suitable for posting, shall be posted in the 
office of the Register of Deeds, and any other office or agency the Advisory Board 
deems necessary:
Henderson County has established agricultural districts to protect and preserve
agricultural lands and activities.  These districts have been developed and mapped by the
county to inform all purchasers of real property that certain agricultural and forestry
  
activities, including but not limited to pesticide spraying , manure spreading, machinery
and truck operation, livestock operations, sawing, and other common farming activities
may occur in these districts any time during the day or night.  Maps and information on
the location and establishment of these districts can be obtained from the North Carolina
Cooperative Extension Service office, the office of the Register of Deeds, the County
Planning office, the Land Records Section of the Tax Assessor’s Office, or the Natural
Resources Conservation Service office.
§ 45-28.Land Development; Notice to Purchasers. 
A.
Developers of major subdivisions (as that term is used in the Henderson County  
Land Development Code) or planned unit developments shall designate on 
preliminary development plans the existence of voluntary agricultural districts within 
1/2 mile of the proposed development. 
B.
In addition, developers shall comply with all applicable provisions of the Henderson 
County Land Development Code, including but limited to those regarding Farmland 
Preservation Districts.  
C.
As used in this Article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise the terms 
“voluntary agricultural district” and “enhanced agricultural district” shall have the 
same meaning as the term “Farmland Preservation District” as used in the Henderson 
County Land Development Code.
§ 45-29.Public information program. 
The County may take such action as it deems appropriate through the Agricultural Advisory Board or other
body or individual to encourage the formation of voluntary agricultural districts and to further their
purposes and objectives, including a public information program to reasonably inform landowners of the
farmland preservation program.   Official Henderson County electronic land records shall indicate the
boundary of the area within 1/2 mile of a voluntary agriculture district, and shall further indicate any
setbacks from such district required by the Land Development Code.
§
45-30. Qualifying Farmland
As used in this Article, “qualifying farmland” must:
A.
Be managed, if highly erodible land exists on the farm, in accordance with 
the Natural Resources Conservation Service defined erosion-control 
practices that are addressed to said highly-erodible land; and
B.
Be located in the unincorporated area of Henderson County; and
C.
Either:
(1)
Be participating in the farm present-use-value taxation program established 
by N.C.G.S. Chapter 105, Article 12,  or is otherwise  determined by the 
county to meet all the qualifications of this program set forth in N.C.G.S.
105-277.3 ; or
(2)
Both:
a.
Be engaged in “agriculture” as that term is defined in N.C.G.S. 
§106-581.1; and,
b.
Provide to its owner gross revenue from its use in “agriculture “of 
at least $2,000. per acre in the year prior to application (or, as an 
alternative, an average of at least $2,000. per acre for the 5 years 
prior to application).
§ 45-31. Through 45-39.  (Reserved)