services and resources
Farmland Conservation Services.
Saratoga PLAN assists landowners who wish to conserve their land for ongoing agricultural purposes. Maintaining our rural heritage and sustaining a safe and secure local food supply are primary motivations for conserving the land base necessary in Saratoga County for this essential and significant industry. Saratoga County’s 650 farms preserve 75,000 acres in the fastest growing county in New York State. New York State can only feed 30% of its population now and is losing farms at the rate of 2 per week. A brief introduction to farmland conservation can be found in the fact sheet, Using Conservation Easements to Protect Agricultural Lands.
There are competitive funding programs at the federal, state, county, and town levels that may help cover some of the costs associated with conserving farmland. Saratoga PLAN assists farmland owners with applying for these grants. Farmers and landowners who lease to farmers are welcome to contact Saratoga PLAN to discuss their interests and options. All inquiries are kept strictly confidential.
Saratoga PLAN is a partner in the Hudson Valley Farmlink Network, which provides a matching service and other technical assistance for landowners looking for farmers and farmers looking for land to lease or purchase. The Hudson Valley Farmland Finder provides an online listing service for both. Saratoga PLAN helps by facilitating good matches.
Community Planning Services.
Saratoga PLAN’s staff and volunteers are available to assist communities with creating and implementing plans that protect the assets they wish to retain while allowing development at a level they desire. Balancing development and conservation preserves quality of place, quality of life, bolsters public health, attracts and retains talent and economic development, and boosts property values while keeping taxes low.
As development pressures increase in upstate New York, local communities are realizing the value of conserving open spaces. Preserving open lands for agricultural, ecosystem, scenic, historical and recreation purposes can be accomplished by voluntary or regulatory means. This series of fact sheets gives more details on both approaches. A resource list at the end of the Tool Kit provides more information. There are many tools that communities can use, a few of which are described in the fact sheets listed below, which can be viewed or downloaded:
Introduction to Voluntary and Incentive Tools
Fee Interest, Lease to Purchase and Options Contracts
Purchase and Transfer of Development Rights
Introduction to Regulatory Tools
Zoning Tools – 1
Zoning Tools – 2
Designating Environmental and Historic Zones
SEQR – NYS Environmental Quality Review
Resource List for Community Planning
If you have a question about a community planning tool that is not listed here, please call Saratoga PLAN’s office. We have an extensive library of books, too.
Studies and Plans.
Many studies and plans brimming with information on Saratoga County and its many communities are available. A few of the studies and plans that we find helpful can be accessed by clicking on the links below. Comprehensive plans for most municipalities are posted on town and city websites.
Saratoga County Green Infrastructure Plan
Historic Hudson-Hoosick Partnership Stewardship Plan
Champlain Canalway Trail Action Plan
Transfer of Development Rights Study
Battles of Saratoga Viewshed Preservation Study
Town of Charlton Farmland Protection Plan
Town of Ballston Farmland Protection Plan
Town of Stillwater Farmland Protection & Green Infrastructure Plan