15.15.01.04

.04 Termination and Alteration of Districts.

A. The provisions of this regulation are applicable only to land in agricultural preservation districts on which an easement is not held by the Foundation.

B. After 5 Years. A landowner may terminate his property's inclusion in an agricultural preservation district at any time after 5 years from the establishment of the district. Notice of intention to terminate may be submitted to the Foundation at the end of the fourth year of the district's establishment, or anytime after, with a 1-year notice.

C. Severe Economic Hardship.

(1) Foundation and County Approval Needed. If severe economic hardship occurs, the Foundation with the concurrence of the county governing body may release the landowner's property from an agricultural preservation district at any time.

(2) Petitioning the Foundation.

(a) To obtain the relief available under §C(1) of this regulation, the landowner shall petition the Foundation, stating succinctly the severe economic hardship that the landowner is sustaining, and providing the Foundation with the following information:

(i) A recent financial statement which shows the owner's complete assets and liabilities and a statement that the information contained in the financial statement is true and accurate;

(ii) Other information attesting to the severe economic hardship that the landowner is sustaining, including by way of example, information from mortgagees, lien holders, creditors, attorneys, the Internal Revenue Service, or other third-party interests who are qualified to address the economic condition of the landowner.

(b) Copy to County. The landowner shall send a copy of this petition and the information required under §C(2)(a) of this regulation to the appropriate county governing body.

(c) Disclosure of Information. To the extent permitted by law, the Foundation shall deny public access to the information the landowner has supplied the Foundation under §C(2)(a) of this regulation. Nothing in this regulation shall preclude the Foundation from discussing this information with the appropriate county governing body, whose concurrence is required in any property release under this section.

(d) If the Foundation approves the petition to release the landowner's property from a district, the Foundation shall prepare the release.

C. Land Within District No Longer Meeting Qualifications. The Foundation may approve alteration or abolishment of the district, if the following occur:

(1) The use of land within the district has so changed as to cause land within the district to fail to meet the qualifications under Regulation .03D of this chapter;

(2) The Foundation has assessed the potential impacts of alteration on remaining lands in the district;

(3) The alteration or abolition of the district has been recommended by the county governing body after review by the agricultural preservation advisory board and county planning and zoning body, and a public hearing has been held; and

(4) The alteration or abolition is approved by a majority of the Foundation Board of Trustees at large, by the Secretary, and by the State Treasurer.