The Illinois Agricultural Areas Conservation and Protection Act allows for the creation of Agricultural Areas – officially known as “Agricultural Areas” – which are areas in which one or more landowners voluntarily place their land into a protected district with the approval of the county board.
Agricultural Areas preserve the integrity of farming operations within their boundaries by providing a means of keeping land in agricultural use for an extended period of time. When property is enrolled in an Agricultural Area, it must remain in agricultural use for at least 10 years. After 10 years, land may be re-enrolled every eight years. Provisions are in place to allow individual parcels of property to be removed from, or added to, the area within those periods of time as long as the Ag Area continues to contain a minimum of 100 acres.
Land within an Agricultural Area is protected from locally initiated projects that would convert the land to other uses. However, it does not protect property from eminent domain. Landowners with property enrolled are exempt from local laws that would unreasonably restrict normal farming practices and from special benefits assessments that are not in their best interest. The designation goes with the property if the land is sold.
Click the link below to download an application to request a new Agricultural Area.
Agricultural Area Application
Click the link below to download an application to modify an existing Agricultural Area.
Agricultural Area Modification Application