Agricultural Security Area
An agricultural security area (ASA) is a tract of agricultural land that has been officially designated as an agricultural district by the local municipality. As a landowner, there are a variety of benefits to enrolling land in an agricultural security area.
Agricultural Security Areas promote more permanent and viable farming operations over the long term by strengthening the farming community's sense of security in land use and the right to farm. Areas are created by local municipalities in cooperation with individual landowners who agree to collectively place at least 250 acres in an Agricultural Security Area.
The Agricultural Security Area (also known as Ag-Security) program began in 1981 and has been amended several times. The most recent update was in 1994 which specified the procedures for setting up the Ag-Security areas.
The original program (The Agricultural Security Area Law – Act 43 of 1981) required 500 acres. The 1994 revisions required 250 acres. Oakland Township currently has 2,220.36 acres in its Agricultural Security Area filed at the Butler County Courthouse.
When an Ag-Security area is formed, the participating landowners are entitled to special consideration by the governing bodies. This includes County and State agencies. The local municipalities cannot enact ordinances that restrict farm structures or the operations of normal farming.
Are you interested in having your property added to Oakland Township’s Agriculture Security Area? Click on the button below to obtain the form that you need to fill out and submit to:
Oakland Township ~ 565 Chicora Road ~ Butler, PA 16001.
Additional information on Agriculture Security Areas (Act 43) can be found by contacting your County Cooperative Extension Office, or the Bureau of Farmland Preservation at (717) 783-3167.
Penn State is another great resource for information regarding Agriculture Security Areas.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT AGRICULTURAL SECURITY AREAS:
Q: Can I subdivide and/or sell my property if it is included in an Ag-Security Area?
A: Yes. Subject to the Township’s Subdivision Ordinance.
Q: What are the benefits of joining the Ag Security Area?
A: Landowners in the Ag Security Area had some additional protected rights under the Act. It is designed for the farmers to have minimal interference with the Municipality.
Q: How do I have my property entered into the Township Ag Security Area?
A: Complete the form required (link on this page) and mail it to the Township. The Township Secretary will make sure that the proper public notice is given and a meeting of the Township Agricultural Security Board is scheduled. After the Board meets and approves the addition, the form will be filed at the Courthouse.