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How to Apply for Enrollment in Existing AFD
If you are interested in joining an existing Agricultural and Forestal District (AFD), the deadline for a landowner to submit an application to add land to an existing AFD is June 1 of each year. Virginia Code §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 it meets one or more of the following criteria:
  • 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 Agricultural District Advisory Committee (ADAC) and the Planning Commission, that the parcel contains agriculturally and forestally significant land.

In addition, on January 31, 2011, the Board of Supervisors approved new evaluation criteria for acceptance into an AFD.  All parcels containing at least five (5) acres but less than twenty (20) acres must now meet one or more of the following criteria, all of which are included in the County’s Revised General Plan:
  1. Management Plan that specifically states that the property owner(s) are accumulating the required five year production records in order to qualify for agricultural, to include horticulture, land use tax deferral.
  2. Animal Husbandry including Equine uses (commercial or non-commercial) with a Management Plan that relates the pasture carrying capacity to limit the number of animals allowed.
  3. Forests and woodlands with a management plan that specifies the actions required to maintain and enhance the stands.
  4. Management Plan for environmental stewardship which can include reduction or prevention of soil erosion, maintaining fertility of land, control of brush, woody growth and noxious weed, and/or wetlands, flood plains, streams and/or rivers that set forth the terms for their maintenance and enhancement. 

 Additionally, it is required:
  1. Non-qualifying acreage will include the home site, impervious surfaces, lawns and ornamental plantings as declared by the landowner and confirmed by GIS analysis;
  2. Vacant parcels will be prohibited from obtaining a residential building permit on their qualifying acreage for the term of the District;
  3. Any changes to an application must seek ADAC review and approval.  This is to prohibit any future requests to the Assessor’s Office to change from Agricultural or Forestry Land Use Tax (LUT) to Open Space.

Visit the Virginia Department of Forestry website for information regarding how to obtain a forest management plan or the Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District website for information regarding how to obtain a land/farm conservation plan. 

Click here to download an application to join the Loudoun County Agricultural and Forestal District (AFD) Program during the Interim Addition Process.

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