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 five 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 five 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 20 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 five acres minimum in open space use and execution of an open space agreement.

The Essex County Commissioner of the Revenue sets the
Land Values to be used in the Land Use Program. 
They are effective January 1, 2013 for approved parcels in the Land Use Program 
and will be valid until the next general reassessment.
Agricultural - $1,125 per acre
Horticultural - $1,125 per acre
Forest - $575 per acre
Non-productive Forest - $250 per acre
(includes swamp and marsh lands) 
Open space – Same values as above for similar land, 
with an Open Space Use Agreement filed with Essex County
and special Open Space categories of $1500 per acre (golf course) 
and $3000 per acre (swim & racket club). 
(Conservation and Historic Perpetual Easements do not need 
to pay to apply for Land Use; they will get the appropriate 
Agricultural, Horticultural and/or Forest rate per acre.)