County Executive Steve Schuh Declares Anne Arundel Open for Agritourism Businesses
New County Law Reforms Zoning to Allow Farm-Friendly Businesses, Eliminates Burdensome Tax
Davidsonville, MD (October 18, 2017) – At Y Worry Farm in Davidsonville, County Executive Steve Schuh today announced that Anne Arundel County is now open for agritourism businesses.
“For far too long, our jurisdiction punished agritourism businesses with needless taxes and burdensome, outdated zoning restrictions,” said Schuh. “But now we have turned a corner as new laws will go into effect this weekend that ensure Anne Arundel County is state model for encouraging farm-friendly businesses.”
In September, the County Council passed legislation that officially defined agritourism in code and allowed it as a conditional zoning use. A second enacted bill exempts agritourism businesses from having to pay the amusement tax, eliminating an unnecessary financial burden on these farm friendly businesses.
The legislation was the result of an 18 month workgroup organized by the County Executive’s office consisting of stakeholders from government, agriculture, and business. The County is also in the process of forming an agricultural business commission, which will advise the executive departments on policy and regulation.
Governor Hogan's Commission for Agriculture first proposed a definition for agritourism in 2015, and the University of Maryland Extension named the practice as one Maryland’s "trending enterprises.”
To find out more about agricultural businesses opportunities in Anne Arundel County go to http://www.aaedc.org/agriculture.