Assemblyman Schmitt Letter Opposing Ag District Modifications

Assemblyman Schmitt Letter Opposing Ag District Modifications

Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt has sent written testimony to the Orange County Planning Department opposing the negative proposed modifications to Orange County’s agricultural districts.

Local farmers have reached out to Assemblyman Schmitt’s office after being notified that their properties have been slated for removal from it’s agricultural district. 

Text of letter: *********************************

Dear Commissioner Sorensen:

I write with grave concerns over the proposed changes to Orange County’s agriculture districts.

Farm owners across my district have recently been notified of the intent to modify their parcel(s) designation(s) within their current agricultural district. Many prominent active farms have been recommended for removal per notification they received.

According to the proposed modifications removals account for a 13% reduction of the agricultural district in Orange County for an elimination of over 22,000+ acres.  This is unacceptable.

At a time when development pressures are at historic highs and farms are facing unprecedented pressure to be able to continue to operate we need to do all in our power to mitigate the number of parcel removals and status changes.

I understand COVID-19 closures and delays impacted this redistricting process, which only heightens the need to make sure this process is done the right way.

On behalf of the farms of the 99th District who face negative impacts I urge you to delay final action on the redistricting process within statutory limits until parcels with negative proposed modifications can have their status reviewed and reconsidered.

Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt stated, “At a time when development pressures are at historic highs and farms are facing unprecedented pressure to be able to continue to operate we need to do all in our power to mitigate the number of parcel removals and status changes. The 13% reduction is unacceptable and no action should be taken until all parcels with negative proposed modifications have their status reviewed and reconsidered.” 

(Photo by Chris Pawelski)

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