Agricultural and Forestal Districts
The purposes of an Agricultural and Forestal District Program are described by both Chapter 1226, Agricultural and Forestal Districts, of the Codified Ordinances of Loudoun County, and Virginia Code Section 15.2-4300 et seq., as a means to conserve, protect, and encourage the development and improvement of agricultural and forestal lands for the production of food and other agricultural and forestal products, to conserve and protect agricultural and forestal lands as valued natural and ecological resources which provide essential open spaces for clean air sheds and for aesthetic purposes, and to provide a means by which agricultural and forestal land may be protected and enhanced as a viable segment of the economy and as an economic and environmental resource of major importance.
To fulfill these purposes, Loudoun County works with landowners to preserve the rural and agricultural character of the county. Through the Loudoun County Agricultural and Forestal District (AFD) Program, which was established in 1979, over 40,000 acres are enrolled within 24 AFDs located throughout the county.
Descriptions of the county's current Agricultural and Forestal Districts are available online.
Recently adopted amendments to the Loudoun County Agricultural & Forestal Districts are included in the list of new and amended, but not yet codified, ordinances online:
How to Apply
If you are interested in joining an existing AFD, or creating a new AFD, please see the information listed below:
- Please note that the deadline for a landowner to submit an application to add land to an existing AFD is June 1st of each year. Virginia Code Section 15.2-4305 defines the standards for considering parcels for inclusion in the AFD program. Generally, each AFD must have a core of at least 200 acres in one parcel or contiguous parcels, and a parcel that is not located within an AFD’s core may be included in the AFD if:
- The nearest boundary of the parcel is within one mile of the boundary of the core, or
- It is contiguous to a parcel in the district whose nearest boundary is within one mile of the boundary of the core,or
- The Board of Supervisors finds, in consultation with the ADAC and Planning Commission, that the parcel contains agriculturally and forestally significant land.
An application for the the Loudoun County Agricultural and Forestal District Program, which can be used for new applications as well as renewals and interim additions, is online:
Agricultural District Advisory Committee
The Agricultural District Advisory Committee is a body appointed by the Board of Supervisors that is charged with reviewing and recommending applications for membership in an AFD. More information about the committee is online:
For More Information
More information about the Agricultural and Forestal District Program is available from the Department of Economic Development, 703-777-0426 and online from loudounfarms.org.