Antis Township residents value preservation and believe it improves their quality of life. With tax dollars and individual actions, they support preservation of land, water, energy, and even history.
Purpose of the Agricultural Security Program
Agricultural Security Areas are intended to promote more permanent and viable farming operations over the long term by strengthening the farming community’s sense of security in land use and the right to farm. Agricultural Security Areas are created by local municipalities in cooperation with individual landowners who agree to collectively place at least 250 acres in an agricultural security area.
Who Should Participate
Landowners with the following eligible property:
- Noncontiguous farm parcels must be at least 10 acres in size. The farm tracts needed to create a new 250 acre or larger agricultural security area do not have to be under the same ownership or even be located in the same municipality. The Agricultural Area Security Law (Act 43 of 1981) allows for the creation of joint municipality agricultural security areas.
- The property should be viable agricultural land. Cropland, pasture, and woodland can all be included in an agricultural security area.
- At least 50% of the land should be in Soil Capability Classes I-IV, as defined by the county soil survey.
1,279 acres are currently in the program representing 3.3% of the total land area of the Township.
The process of establishing and agricultural Security Area is initiated by petition of owner’s productive farmland totaling at least 250 acres. The land to be included must have soils conducive to agricultural and be used for production of crops, livestock, livestock products, horticultural specialties and timber.
Contact the Township office to obtain agricultural security area application form or print the form which is provided on this site and send to the Township building at 909 North Second Street Bellwood, PA 16617
Submission Requirements for the Program
- The proposal for the creation of an agricultural security area shall be submitted to the Township along with the attached form.
- The Board of Supervisors will acknowledge the submission at the next regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors Meeting.
- A notice of the proposal is published in a newspaper of general circulation. Notice includes miscellaneous descriptive information, including a 15 day period for the receipt of objections and modifications.
- Proposals are referred to the Antis Township Planning Commission, the Blair County Planning Commission and the Agricultural Security Area Advisory Committee, which have 45 days to review and submit comments to the Board of Supervisors.
- A Public Hearing is held.
- Action is taken at the Regular Meeting of the board of Supervisors to take action to include the adoption of the proposal.
- The Agricultural Security Areas are filed with the Recorder of Deeds, the Blair County Planning Commission and the Antis Township Planning Commission.
Agricultural Security Benefits
Agricultural security areas provide three benefits to landowners:
- Municipalities agree to support agriculture by not passing nuisance ordinances which would restrict normal farming operations.
- Limitations are placed on the ability of government to condemn farmland located in an agricultural security area for new schools, highways, parks or other government projects.
- Landowners who are part of a 500 acre or larger agricultural security area may be eligible to apply to sell a perpetual conservation easement (or their development rights) through their local Agricultural Land Preservation Program.
- Having land enrolled in an agricultural security area does not restrict a landowner’s ability to use his or her property for non-agricultural development purposes.