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Agricultural Security Areas

Agricultural Security Areas are a tool for protecting our farms and farmland from of non-agricultural uses. To establish an ASA, a petition is submitted to the township supervisors by the farmers. These security areas are re-evaluated every seven years; however, new parcels of farmland may be added to an established ASA at any time. A combined minimum of 250 acres is required for the establishment of an ASA.

An ASA may include non-adjacent farmland parcels of at least 10 acres or be able to produce $2,000 annually from the sale of agricultural products.

Participants receive special consideration regarding:

    • Protection from local ordinances and nuisance lawsuits affecting normal farming activities.
    • Review of farmland condemnation by state and local government agencies.

An ASA qualifies land for consideration under the farmland preservation program at the owner's request if the ASA has at least 500 acres enrolled.

Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board

The board oversees the condemnation of farmlands enrolled in the Agricultural Security Area, or ASA, or other productive farmlands. The Bureau facilitates the ALCAB. The board convenes on an as-needed basis whenever a petition to condemn is submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture.

The board is comprised of representatives from the Departments of Agriculture (chair), Environmental Protection and Transportation, in addition to a representative of the Governor's Office and two farmer members. Certain exemptions to board jurisdiction include work to existing highways and projects that have Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approval.