15.15.01.20

.20 Determination by Foundation of Applications To Be Approved.

A. In determining which applications to approve for the purchase of the easements offered, the Foundation shall approve only those applications which have received approval of the applicable local governing body in which the subject land meets the qualifying criteria of Regulation .03D of this chapter on lands which are currently within an agricultural preservation district.

B. Approval of Easement Sale Applications.

(1) Ratios of 1.0 or Lower. All applications for the sale of easements shall be assigned a rank in ascending order with respect to the proportion obtained by dividing the asking price by the State appraisal easement value. The resulting rank shall be the sole criterion for establishing the priority for approved applications with ratios of 1.0 or lower. If between two or more landowners, the proportions obtained are equal, the following land characteristics shall affect the priority of acquisition:

(a) Highest productive capability;

(b) Greatest urban pressure; and

(c) Largest parcel.

(2) Ratios of Greater than 1.0. All applications for the sale of easements shall be assigned a point total resulting from the following easement priority formula. Applications shall be ranked in descending order of respective point totals and this shall be the sole criterion for establishing the priority for the approved applications that include asking price/appraised value ratios greater than 1.0.

(3) Points. The following points shall be assigned to soil capability, based on the land classification system as developed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. The following standard priority ranking system applies to ratios greater than 1.0 if the total district acreage is:

(Maximum 20 Points)

(a) 50 percent or more Classes I and II—20 points;

(b) 50 percent or more Classes II and III—16 points;

(c) 50 percent or more Class III—12 points;

(d) 50 percent or more Woodland Group 1—20 points;

(e) 50 percent or more Woodland Group 2—12 points;

(f) Less than 50 percent Class I, II, and III soils or Woodland Groups 1 and 2, but 50 percent or more of the productive area of the district is devoted to specialized
food production such as orchard, vineyard, poultry, livestock, or other agricultural
commodities intended for human consumption which can be produced on poorer soils
without the eventual degradation of the productive capability of the land; or
agricultural land which is otherwise qualified for district establishment and
is comprised predominantly of lower general capability which was subject to
Foundation approval based on documented productivity—12 points;

(g) Less than 50 percent Class I, II, and III soils or Woodland Groups 1 and 2, but 50 percent or more of the productive area of the district is devoted to non-food production such as nursery, horses, tobacco, or other non-food agricultural commodities which could be produced on poorer soils without the eventual degradation of the productive capability of the land—8 points.

(4) Points. The following points shall be assigned based upon agricultural preservation area and district size (maximum 25 points):

(a) Preservation area. Agency Note: An agricultural preservation area is the amount of contiguous land under district agreement which may include separate ownership and land which is permanently preserved for agriculture through a county, State, federal, or private organization.

(i) 1,000 acres or larger—10 points,

(ii) 500—999 acres—8 points,

(iii) 100—499 acres—5 points;

(b) District:

(i) 175 acres or larger—10 points,

(ii) 100—174 acres—8 points,

(iii) 50—99 acres—2 points;

(c) If the District adjoins a district on which a development rights easement has been acquired or the adjacent land has been permanently preserved for agriculture through county, State, federal, or private organization—5 points.

(5) Points. Points shall be assigned based upon the threat to the continuance of agriculture. The following points apply to the percentage of existing or formally proposed nonagricultural land use acreage within a 1.5 mile radius of the district (maximum 30 points):

(a) 41—50 percent developed and district is contiguous to the undeveloped portion—10 points;

(b) 31—40 percent developed and district is contiguous to the undeveloped portion --- 8 points;

(c) 21—30 percent developed and district is contiguous to the undeveloped portion—6 points;

(d) 10—20 percent developed and district is contiguous to the undeveloped portion—4 points;

(e) The following points apply to the proximity to the county's existing sewer service or sewer service planned within the next 10 years:

(i) Less than 1 mile—15 points,

(ii) 1—2 miles—12 points,

(iii) 2.1—4 miles—9 points,

(iv) 4.1—6 miles—6 points;

(f) The following points apply to the proximity to community or suburban development areas outside the county's existing or ten year sewer service boundary: Agency Note: A community or suburban development area is an area of existing and formally proposed residential development greater than 500 contiguous acres.

(i) Less than 0.5 miles—5 points,

(ii) 0.6—1.0 miles—4 points,

(iii) 1.1—2.0 miles—3 points,

(iv) 2.1—3.0 miles—2 points.

(6) Points. The following points apply to the priority recommendations of local governing bodies for applications based on a formal objective evaluation process approved by the Foundation (maximum 25 points):

(a) Applications designated high priority—25 points;

(b) Applications designated medium priority—10 points;

(c) Applications designated low priority—5 points.

C. The Foundation shall only approve those applications that have been approved by the applicable local government.