Farmland Preservation Zoning For Landowners

Commonly asked questions by landowners regarding farmland preservation zoning

Farmland preservation zoning, like other general zoning districts, require that lands within the district conform to a set of land use standards enumerated in a general zoning ordinance. Land uses within certified farmland preservation zoning districts are limited to agriculture and other compatible uses. These ordinances are locally crafted but must meet or be more restrictive than standards identified in Ch. 91 for Farmland Preservation Zoning.

Landowners with lands covered by a certified farmland preservation zoning district may be eligible to claim a $7.50/acre tax credit provided they meet other eligibility requirements, such as complying with state soil and water conservation standards . Landowners within a district who choose not to claim the credit still must comply with land use restrictions identified in the local ordinance.

Contact your local zoning administrator’s office. They will help you determine which parcels/acreage fall within a certified district. A certified zoning ordinance may be amended to add lands to a farmland preservation district if those lands were planned for farmland preservation in the certified county farmland preservation plan.

No. The requirement to collect a rezone conversion fee was removed from the statutes under 2011 WI ACT 32, the biennial budget bill. Under these changes, any individual requesting a rezone does not need to pay the conversion fee.

No, a zoning certificate is no longer required to claim the farmland preservation credit on Schedule FC-A for lands zoned in a certified farmland preservation zoning district.

Yes, all landowners claiming the farmland preservation tax credit under a certified zoning ordinance must first obtain a certificate of compliance.  For more information, please contact the land conservation department in the county where your land is located.

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Helpful Resources

​​Guide to Claiming the Farmland Preservation Tax Credit 

Farmland Preservation Tax Credit Fact Sheet

Farmland Preservation Zoning Talking Points

List of local jurisdictions with certified farmland preservation zoning ordinances for tax year 2017