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Hearing scheduled on agricultural district

ASHFORD -- The Cattaraugus County Legislature will take comments on renewal and modifications to Ashford Meadows Agricultural District 6 at 7:30 tonight in Ashford Community Center, 9377 Route 240, West Valley.

The hearing is part of the district's eight-year review and it will follow a 6:30 p.m. informational meeting, when a detailed description of the proposed modifications will be presented.

The Ag District was formed in 1982 and covers parcels in the towns of Ashford, Ellicottville, Franklinville, Machias and East Otto. At that time, it contained 3,375 acres, with reviews in 1990 and 1998 expanding it to include 13,633 acres.

The Cattaraugus County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board has recommended the continuation of the district, with several modifications. If the recommendations are accepted, all lands classified as agricultural by the county Real Property Tax Services Department, and which are considered viable to active farming within the towns of Ashford and Ellicottville, will be included.

Six parcels requested for inclusion by landowners will be added and two parcels will be removed because they have a dual listing in the Farmersville-Freedom Agricultural District.

Municipalities or landowners may recommend modifications today. The modifications will be sent to the County Legislature for approval at a future session, and then it will be sent to the state Department of Agriculture and Markets for final approval.

A description and map of the proposed district and other materials are on view in the County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism, 303 Court St., Little Valley. For information, call senior county planner James H. Isaacson at 938-2320.

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