Farmland and Open Space Preservation Tools, Washington County, WI


By: Washington County, WI

Farmland Protection 

Chapter 4 of this study from Washington County, Wisconsin, discusses a wide range of preservation tools representing existing and potential strategies for farmland protection within the county, focusing on regulatory-based tools (including agricultural protection zoning, cluster zoning, lot averaging, density bonuses, mitigation programs, overlay districts, and sliding-scale zoning), incentive-based tools (fee-simple purchase, donations, bargain sales, conservation easements, purchase of development rights, transfer of development rights, and options review), and economic viability tools (differential assessment laws, circuit breaker tax relief credits, right-to-farm laws, and other programs) to help promote agriculture. Appendices provide examples of ordinances and programmatic documents from different communities.