Essex County Virginia

Land Use Categories

Land Use Categories

Agricultural Use:  

Must be devoted to the bona fide production for sale of plants and animals useful to man under uniform standards prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or when devoted to and meeting the requirements and qualifications for payments or other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government. Requires (5) acres minimum in agricultural use and a five year history of agricultural use.

Horticultural Use:  

Must be devoted to the bona fide production for sale of fruits of all kinds, vegetables, nursery and floral products under uniform standards prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or devoted to and meetings requirements and qualifications for payments or other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government. Requires (5) acres minimum in horticultural use and a five year history of horticultural use.

Forest Use:  

Real estate dedicated to forest use is devoted to tree growth in such quantity and so spaced and maintained as to constitute a forest area under standards prescribed by the State Forester. The land must be growing a well-distributed, commercial forest crop that is physically accessible for harvesting when mature. This includes land that has been recently cleared and is being regenerated into a new forest, as well as land deemed non-productive forest due to location and soil conditions or other conditions which prohibit timber growth. The owner shall certify that the land is used in a planned program of timber management. Requires twenty acres minimum in forest use.

Open-Space Use:  

Real estate devoted to open-space use shall mean real estate used to provide or preserve for park or recreational purposes, conservation of land or other natural resources, floodways, historic or scenic purposes, or assisting in the shaping of the character, direction, and timing of community development or for the public interest and consistent with the local land-use plan under uniform standards prescribed by the Director of the Department of Conservation and Historic Resources. Requires twenty acres minimum in open space use and execution of an open space agreement.