In 2003 the county introduced its Farmland/Open Space Preservation Program, one of only a few in the entire state. The Board of Supervisors allocated $333,000 towards a matching grant program intended to preserve viable farmland and important open space parcels within the county. The program’s intent is to use limited county funds to attract federal, state, local and private matching funds to achieve the goal of protecting as much of our high quality open space as possible. Working with a board appointed committee the planning staff prepared an application package and reviewed criteria for the program. In 2008, the Board of Supervisors increased the budgeted dollar amount to $750,000 for the grant program. The interest in the grant program has steadily increased and with the adoption of the Green Infrastructure Plan in 2006 the county has assisted municipalities work toward preservation of farmland and open space on the local level. Planning staff is also responsible for updating the county’s two consolidated agricultural districts that comprise of approximately 111,000 acres of viable agricultural land.

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