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§ 903. Definitions

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 3 P.S. AgricultureEffective: July 7, 2011

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 3 P.S. Agriculture (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 14A. Agricultural Area Security (Refs & Annos)
Effective: July 7, 2011
3 P.S. § 903
§ 903. Definitions
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Advisory committee.” An Agricultural Security Area Advisory Committee.
“Agricultural conservation easement.” An interest in land, less than fee simple, which interest represents the right to prevent the development or improvement of a parcel for any purpose other than agricultural production. The easement may be granted by the owner of the fee simple to any third party or to the Commonwealth, to a county governing body or to a unit of local government. It shall be granted in perpetuity as the equivalent of covenants running with the land. The exercise or failure to exercise any right granted by the easement shall not be deemed to be management or control of activities at the site for purposes of enforcement of the act of October 18, 1988 (P.L. 756, No. 108),1 known as the “Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.”
“Agricultural production.” The production for commercial purposes of crops, livestock and livestock products, including the processing or retail marketing of such crops, livestock or livestock products if more than 50% of such processed or merchandised products are produced by the farm operator. The term includes use of land which is devoted to and meets the requirements of and qualifications for payments or other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the Federal Government.
“Agricultural security area.” A unit of 250 or more acres of land used for the agricultural production of crops, livestock and livestock products under the ownership of one or more persons and designated as such by the procedures set forth in this act or designated as such pursuant to the act of January 19, 1968 (1967 P.L. 992, No. 442),2 entitled “An act authorizing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the counties thereof to preserve, acquire or hold land for open space uses,” prior to the effective date of this amendatory act, by the governing body of the county or governing body of the municipality in which such agricultural land is located on the basis of criteria and procedures which predate the effective date of this amendatory act: Provided, That an owner of land designated as such under the authority of the act of January 19, 1968 (1967 P.L. 992, No. 442) may withdraw such land from an agricultural security area by providing written notice of withdrawal to the county governing body or governing body of the municipality in which such land is located within 180 days of the effective date of this amendatory act.
“Commercial equine activity.” The term includes the following activities where a fee is collected:
(1) The boarding of equines.
(2) The training of equines.
(3) The instruction of people in handling, driving or riding equines.
(4) The use of equines for riding or driving purposes.
(5) The pasturing of equines.
The term does not include activity licensed under the act of December 17, 1981 (P.L. 435, No. 135),3 known as the “Race Horse Industry Reform Act.”
“Contiguous acreage.” All portions of one operational unit as described in the deed, whether or not the portions are divided by streams, public roads, bridges or railroads and whether or not described as multiple tax parcels, tracts, purparts or other property identifiers. The term includes supportive lands, such as unpaved field access roads, drainage areas, border strips, hedgerows, submerged lands, marshes, ponds and streams.
“County board.” The County Agricultural Land Preservation Board.
“County governing body.” The county board of commissioners or other designated council of representatives under home rule charters.
“County planning commission.” A planning commission or agency which has been designated by the county governing body to establish and foster a comprehensive plan for land management and development within the county.
“Crops unique to the area.” Include, but are not limited to, crops which historically have been grown or have been grown within the last five years in the region and which are used for agricultural production in the region.
“Crops, livestock and livestock products.” Include but are not limited to:
(1) Field crops, including corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, hay, potatoes and dry beans.
(2) Fruits, including apples, peaches, grapes, cherries and berries.
(3) Vegetables, including tomatoes, snap beans, cabbage, carrots, beets, onions and mushrooms.
(4) Horticultural specialties, including nursery stock ornamental shrubs, ornamental trees and flowers.
(5) Livestock and livestock products, including cattle, sheep, hogs, goats, horses, poultry, furbearing animals, milk, eggs and furs.
(6) Timber, wood and other wood products derived from trees.
(7) Aquatic plants and animals and their byproducts.
“Department.” The Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth.
“Description of the proposed area.” A complete and accurate list of the name or names of the owner or owners of each parcel of land to be included in the proposed agricultural security area, the tax parcel number or account number of each parcel and the number or account number of acres (including partial acres, to the nearest thousandth) contained in each parcel. Such description shall use county tax map references for determining boundaries of each parcel, and no survey of parcels shall be required, except when an individual parcel included in the agricultural security area shall represent less than the entire amount of contiguous land contained in the property of an owner.
“Eligible counties.” Counties whose easement purchase programs have been approved by the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board. For the purpose of annual allocations, an eligible county must have its easement purchase program approved by the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board by January 1 of the year in which the annual allocation is made. Counties of the first class are not eligible under any circumstances.
“Eligible nonprofit entity.” An entity that provides the State board or an eligible county satisfactory proof of all of the following:
(1) That the entity is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)).
(2) That the entity has experience acquiring, whether through purchase, donation or other transfer, an agricultural or other conservation easement.
“Farmland value.” The price as of the valuation date for property used for normal farming operations which a willing and informed seller who is not obligated to sell would accept for the property, and which a willing and informed buyer who is not obligated to buy would pay for the property.
“Fiscal year.” Fiscal year of the Commonwealth.
“Fund.” The Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund established by the act of May 13, 1988 (P.L. 398, No. 64),4 entitled “An act amending the act of June 18, 1982 (P.L. 549, No. 159), entitled ‘An act providing for the administration of certain Commonwealth farmland within the Department of Agriculture,’ providing for the disposition of proceeds from the sale of certain land, equipment or facilities.”
“Governing body.” The governing body of a local government unit.
“Immediate family member.” A brother, sister, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, grandson, granddaughter, father or mother of the landowner.
“Joint ownership.” Joint tenancy in an agricultural conservation easement purchase as the interests of the parties appear.
“Local government unit.” Any city, borough, township or town or any home rule municipality, optional plan municipality, optional charter municipality or similar general purpose unit of government which may be created or authorized by statute.
“Market value.” The price as of the valuation date for the highest and best use of the property which a willing and informed seller who is not obligated to sell would accept for the property, and which a willing and informed buyer who is not obligated to buy would pay for the property.
“Normal farming operations.” The customary and generally accepted activities, practices, and procedures that farmers adopt, use, or engage in year after year in the production and preparation for market of crops, livestock, and livestock products and in the production and harvesting of agricultural, agronomic, horticultural, silvicultural, and aquacultural crops and commodities. The term includes the storage and utilization of agricultural and food processing wastes for animal feed and the disposal of manure, other agricultural waste and food processing waste on land where the materials will improve the condition of the soil or the growth of crops or will aid in the restoration of the land for the same purposes.
“Parcel.” A tract of land in its entirety which is assessed for tax purposes by one county, including any portion of that tract that may be located in a neighboring county. The county responsible for assessing an entire tract, on its own or in conjunction with either the Commonwealth or a local government unit, or both, shall be eligible to purchase agricultural conservation easements covering the entire tract.
“Planning commission.” A local government planning commission or agency which has been designated by the governing body of the local government unit to establish and foster a comprehensive plan for land management and development within the local government unit.
“Secretary.” The Secretary of Agriculture of the Commonwealth.
“State board.” The State Agricultural Land Preservation Board.
“Viable agricultural land.” Land suitable for agricultural production and which will continue to be economically feasible for such use if real estate taxes, farm use restrictions, and speculative activities are limited to levels approximating those in commercial agricultural areas not influenced by the proximity of urban and related nonagricultural development.

Credits

1981, June 30, P.L. 128, No. 43, § 3, effective in 60 days. Amended 1988, Dec. 14, P.L. 1202, No. 149, § 1, effective in 60 days; 1990, June 22, P.L. 242, No. 57, § 1, imd. effective; 1992, April 13, P.L. 100, No. 23, § 1, imd. effective; 1994, Nov. 23, P.L. 621, No. 96, § 1, effective Jan. 1, 1995; 1994, Nov. 23, P.L. 648, No. 100, § 1, effective Jan. 1, 1995; 1998, Dec. 21, P.L. 1056, No. 138, § 1, effective in 60 days; 2001, May 30, P.L. 103, No. 14, § 1, effective in 30 days; 2005, Nov. 1, P.L. 323, No. 61, § 1, effective in 60 days [Jan. 3, 2006]; 2006, May 15, P.L. 190, No. 46, § 2, imd. effective; 2011, July 7, P.L. 247, No. 44, § 1, imd. effective.

Footnotes

35 P.S. § 6020.101 et seq.
32 P.S. § 5001 et seq.
4 P.S. § 325.101 et seq. (repealed).
3 P.S. § 1201 et seq.
3 P.S. § 903, PA ST 3 P.S. § 903
Current through 2022 Regular Session Act 40. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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