A. Excerpts from a DLCD document on allowable agricultural uses on EFU zoned land.

  • The definition of farm use serves a dual purpose. It identifies both the uses allowed in a farm zone and the uses which receive special farm use property tax assessment. In ORS 215 it reads: “As used in this section, “farm use” means the current employment of land for the primary purpose of obtaining a profit in money by raising, harvesting and selling crops or the feeding, breeding, management and sale of, or the produce of, livestock, fur-bearing animals or honeybees or for dairying and the sale of dairy products or any other agricultural or horticultural use or animal husbandry or any combination thereof. “Farm use” includes the preparation, storage and disposal by marketing or otherwise of the products or by-products raised on such land for human use or animal use.
  • Because the distinction between “preparation” and “processing” is not always easy to determine, LCDC adopted a rule (OAR 660-033-0020(7(b)) to further define the term “preparation” as it is used in the definition of “farm use.” It reads:

“Preparation of products or by-products includes but is not limited to the cleaning, treatment, sorting, composting or packaging of the products or by-products.”

“Preparation of a farm product is something less than “processing.” Making a new or different product from the naturally grown farm product is “processing” not “preparation” and treated as either a “processing facility” of “farm crops” in a building less than 10,000 sq. feet or a “commercial activity in conjunction with farm use. All “processing” facilities, regardless of size, where more than 75% of the product comes from other farms, are treated as “commercial” activities in conjunction with farm use.

  • Processing facilities for farm crops were allowed in 1997 in order to encourage small scale facilities on the farm… Such facilities are subject to three limitations: 1) they can only process farm crops (plants not livestock/animals or other); 2) at least one-quarter of farm crops processed must come from the farm operation on which the facility is located; and 3) the building for the processing facility cannot exceed 10,000 square feet of floor area exclusive of the floor area designated for preparation, storage or other farm use or devote more than 10,000 square feet to the processing activities within another building supporting farm uses.

Download the entire article in PDF by clicking here: Uses allowed in Farm Zones Supportive of the Agricultural Industry

B. Excerpts from a DLCD document regarding Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goals and Guidelines for Agricultural Lands:

  • Agricultural lands shall be preserved and maintained for farm use, consistent with existing and future needs for agricultural products, forest and open space and with the state’s agricultural land use policy expressed in ORS 215.243 and 215.700.
  • Zoning applied to agricultural land shall limit uses which can have significant adverse effects on agricultural and forest land, farm and forest uses or accepted farming or forest practices.
  • Plans providing for the preservation and maintenance of farm land for farm use, should consider as a major determinant the carrying capacity of the air, land and water resources of the planning area. The land conservation and development actions provided for by such plans should not exceed the carrying capacity of such resources.
  • Non-farm uses permitted within farm use zones under ORS 215.213(2) and (3) and 215.283(2) and (3) should be minimized to allow for maximum agricultural productivity.

Download a PDF of the Goals and Guidelines document by clicking here.

C. Protecting farmland still a priority for Oregon Department of Agriculture and DLCD.

The protection of farmland is as important as ever in Oregon, according to two state agencies and their respective board or commission. In 2004 the State Board of Agriculture and the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) met in joint session to discuss Oregon´s land use laws and why they are still needed by agriculture

“Agricultural land can´t be viewed as an idle resource waiting to be converted to homes, office buildings, retail outlets, or other types of development,” said Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “These lands and their associated infrastructure are an integral and stable economic platform statewide, both urban and rural.”

Read the entire article, click here.