Tyrrell commissioners to consider Ag districts again

Published 2:24 pm Monday, February 4, 2019

Tyrrell Commissioner Jordan Davis, a self-styled “family farmer,” has called for discussion of a Voluntary Agricultural District (VAD) Ordinance when the board of commissioners meets at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Tyrrell County Farm Bureau threw its support to VAD legislation in a Jan. 29 letter from President Harry Spruill.

The Tyrrell County Board of Commissioners took no action on a VAD ordinance following a public hearing in March 2017. The county farm agent had requested enactment of the ordinance four months earlier, the third such request over the past few years.

No one spoke in support of the measure at the hearing, but a Farm Bureau endorsement letter was in the file.

The county planning board contended the ordinance “would retard development of residential subdivisions, hindering much-needed population growth and property tax revenues.”

The planners concluded that “The entire concept of handing over such powers to an Ag Advisory Board raises the prospect that other industries or commercial activities will come forward asking for similar special considerations and legal benefits.”

Purpose of the 2017 proposal was “to promote agricultural values and the general welfare of the county and more specifically, increase indentity and pride in the agricultural community and its way of life; encoursage the economic and financial health of agriculture, horticulture and forestry; and increase protection from non-farm development and other negative impacts on properly managed farms.”

The current Washington County VAD ordinance was included for reference when board clerk Penny Owens mailed the Tyrrell board agenda package Jan. 31.

The commissioners meeting on Feb. 5 is open to the public, but no public hearing is scheduled.