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Interested in smart growth in Ohio? Meeting set for Jan. 23
By Steve Bartels
Ohio Farm News

What are some of the tools available to you if you are interested in promoting smart growth in Butler County? Well, one of the newest tools being proposed, which may be available to you by spring, is the new zoning regulations being considered by the county.

Within these proposed changes is a new agricultural zone, called A-20. This zoning would call for a minimum lot size of 20 acres. The old A-1 zoning will also still be available. A-1 is really a holding zoning; holding the property until someone wants to change it to residential or commercial.

Another tool that has been around for several years now is the purchase of development rights. You have only two more opportunities to be accepted into the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s purchase plan. Applications will be accepted again this spring to sell your development rights. This is a very competitive process. Some of you have been disappointed in the past.

But there is some good news. If you get into the A-20 zoning, if it becomes available here in the county, you would get more points on the ODA application. More good news is that the application has not changed from last year.

If you applied last year, it will be simple to apply this year. It will also be easier for new applicants because, our local conservation trust, which helps you through the process, has a year of experience with this form.

Another new tool that the state legislature made available is the Agricultural Security Area, which you can now apply to receive. If you are in such an area, you can receive tax abatement on new infrastructure you put in place on your farm.

We have planned a meeting to explain these programs and others in more detail. It will be held here at the Ohio State University Extension Office, 1810 Princeton Road, Hamilton on Monday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Larry Frimmerman, Executive Director, Three Valley Conservation Trust and Mike Juengling, Director Butler County Development and Planning, will resource this session.

No registration required, but we would like for you to call 513-887-3722 or 513-424-5351 Ext. 3722 in advance so we know approximately how many to expect.

Published in the December 14, 2005 issue of Farm World.