The new policies and procedures manual adopted updates previous versions of the one first adopted in 2006. It was edited to include changes in state laws and county ordinances since the last revision about two years ago.
One change is in the requirements for conservation use. The state no longer allows counties to set minimum acreage for conservation tracts. But the new policies call for those with tracts of 10 acres or less to provide more information so the appraisers can be sure the property qualifies under state guidelines.
After approving the policies, the board reconsidered a conservation request by James Crutchfield on a 9.94-acre tract. According to the current state regulations, 2 acres must be subtracted from the request to allow for the home site if a home is included, which in this case it was. Then at least 50 percent of the remaining property must be used for a qualifying use – in this case timber production.
Crutchfield submitted the necessary paperwork, including a management plan, but after reviewing photos of the tract, the assessors determined his tract did not meet the 50 percent qualifying use requirement and voted to deny his request.
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