To preserve irreplaceable agricultural resources by protecting prime and unique soils on farmland and forestland from development.
Locate the project on a site that is not within a state or locally designated agricultural preservation district (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.), unless any changes made to the site conform to the requirements for development within the district (as used in this requirement, “district” does not equate to land-use zoning). Meet the requirements of one of the following five options.
Option 1. Infill sitesLocate the project on an infill site
Option 2. Sites Served by TransitComply with Smart Location and Linkages prerequisite Smart Location, Option 3, Transit Corridor.
Option 3. Development rights receiving areaLocate the project within a designated receiving area for development rights under a publicly administered farmland protection program that provides for the transfer of development rights from lands designated for conservation to lands designated for development.
Option 4. Sites without affected soilsLocate the project’s development footprint such that it does not disturb prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide or local importance as defined by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Volume 6, Parts 400 to 699, Section 657.5 and identified in a state Natural Resources Conservation Service soil survey (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.).
Option 5. Sites with affected soilsIf development footprint affects land with prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide or local importance as as defined by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Volume 6, Parts 400 to 699, Section 657.5 and identified in a state Natural Resources Conservation Service soil survey (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.), mitigate the loss through the purchase or donation of easements providing permanent protection from development on land with comparable soils in accordance with the ratios based on densities per acre of buildable land listed in Tables 1 and 2.
Table 1. Mitigation ratios for projects in large metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas (pop. 250,000 or more)
Table 2. Mitigation ratios for projects in small metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas (pop. less than 250,000)All off-site mitigation must be located within 100 miles (160 kilometers) of the project. Up to 15% of the affected farmland area may be subtracted from the mitigation acreage required of the project in Tables 1 and 2 if it is permanently dedicated for community gardens. Portions of parking structures devoted exclusively to parking must be excluded from the numerator when calculating the floor-area ratio (FAR). The mitigation ratio for a mixed-use project is calculated as follows:
- Determine the total floor area of all residential and nonresidential uses.
- Calculate the percentage residential and percentage nonresidential of the total floor area.
- Determine the density of the residential and nonresidential components as measured in dwelling units per acre and FAR, respectively.
- Referring to Tables 1 and 2, find the appropriate mitigation ratios for the residential and nonresidential components.
- If the mitigation ratios are different, multiply the mitigation ratio of the residential component by its percentage of the total floor area, and multiply the mitigation ratio of the nonresidential component by its percentage.
- Add the two numbers produced by step 5. The result is the mitigation ratio.
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