Agricultural Comprehensive Plan Amendments

The 2003 and 2004 Comprehensive Plan amendment cycles include two distinct proposals related to Agricultural Lands. The main objectives of the proposals are to complete unfinished Agricultural Lands planning tasks, as described in the Comprehensive Plan Natural Resource Conservation Element and in the Department of Community Development (DCD) Memorandum to the Planning Commission.

2003 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Proposal

As a follow-up to addressing the issue of exemptions for existing and ongoing agriculture through MLA02-485, DCD and the Planning Commission Ag Lands Committee developed a suggested amendment proposal for inclusion in the 2003 annual Comprehensive Plan amendment cycle under case number MLA03-209.

DCD released a Staff Report on September 17, 2003 that presents a proposal jointly developed by staff and the Planning Commission Ag Lands Committee to amend the Comprehensive Plan categories and designation criteria for Agricultural Lands. The full Planning Commission recommended the proposal to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), which adopted the proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan by ordinance on December 8, 2003. See the 2003 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle page for results.

Based on the results of the 2003 Comprehensive Plan amendment cycle, the County produced a revised map of Agricultural Lands of Long-Term Commercial Significance. Consideration of parcels for Agricultural Lands designation under the new categories and criteria was deferred to the 2004 amendment cycle.

2004 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Proposal

The main objective of MLA04-27 is to provide an opportunity during the 2004 Comprehensive Plan amendment cycle for landowners who desire to "opt-in" to the Agricultural Lands of Local Importance program. Land in the program would be designated (i.e., zoned) as an Agricultural Land of Long-Term Commercial Significance on the official map of Comprehensive Plan Land Use Designations.

DCD produced an "Agriculture in Jefferson County Information Booklet," Summer 2004. This 12-page booklet is a must read for farmers and landowners interested in the new opportunities available on designated Agricultural Lands. The booklet includes a summary of potential advantages and disadvantages to re-designating land as Agricultural Lands.
  • Letter to landowners interested in re-designating to Agricultural Lands June 18, 2004
  • Agricultural Lands Re-Designation Request Form
The deadline for submitting a signed Re-Designation Request Form was Friday, July 30.

Agriculture Open House

With the help of WSU Extension, and with local food provided by the Farmers Market, DCD held an Ag Lands Open House on June 23, 2004 to celebrate agriculture in Jefferson County. County Commissioners, County staff, Planning Commission members, and a Jefferson County Conservation District representative were available to answer questions about how some of the recent code changes positively affect farmers and about the opportunity to "opt in" to Agricultural Lands zoning during the 2004 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle.
  • Ag Lands Open House Handout June 23, 2004

Amendment Cycle

Visit this page and the 2004 Comprehensive Plan amendment cycle page periodically to follow the 2004 Agricultural Lands planning process.

DCD released its 2004 Docket Integrated Staff Report and SEPA Addendum on September 22, thereby initiating a formal comment period. The report includes the list of parcels under consideration for Agricultural Lands designation and the recommendation of the Planning Commission Agricultural Lands Committee.