About Agricultural and Forestal Districts
Montgomery County established Agricultural and Forestal Districts (AFDs) based on Code of Virginia Title 15.2, Chapter 43 of the Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended. The policy of both the Commonwealth and Montgomery County is to encourage agricultural and forestal districts as a means by which agricultural and forestal land may be protected and enhanced as a viable segment of the county’s economy and as an economic and environmental resource of major importance.
AFDs are rural zones reserved for the production of agricultural products, timber, and the maintenance of open space land; and are established according to state guidelines with the approval of the local governing body. In essence, a district constitutes a voluntary agreement between landowners and the government that no new, non-agricultural uses will take place in the district. An AFD provides stronger protection for farmers and farmland than traditional zoning.
All residents benefit from good stewardship of the land and from the reduced demand to extend urban public services into the rural areas of the county.
The AFD Committee, appointed by the Board of Supervisors, makes recommendations regarding all activities involving AFDs–including renewals, additions and withdrawals–to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
Montgomery County Agricultural and Forestal Districts
The county has approximately 25,127 acres of AFD.