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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation and Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 151. Land Use Permit Regulations
4/4/2020

24VAC30-151-230. Agriculture Use Agreements.

A. In cases where wider rights-of-way are acquired by VDOT for the ultimate development of a highway at such time as adequate funds are available for the construction of the same, including such preliminary features as tree planting, the correction of existing drainage conditions, etc., the Commissioner of Highways does not consider it advisable to lease, rent, or otherwise grant permission for the use of any of the land so acquired except in extreme or emergency cases, and then only for a limited period.

When this land is being used for agricultural purposes, which would necessitate the owner preparing other areas for the same use, agreements for agricultural uses may be entered into for use of portions of the right-of-way for temporary or limited periods.

B. Agreements for agricultural uses may be made with adjoining property owners, until such time as the Commissioner of Highways deems it necessary to use right-of-way acquired for future construction on a project for road purposes. Agricultural use is not permitted on limited access highways. The use of this land will be limited to provisions as set forth in the agreement, which, in general, will cover agricultural pursuits the same as those carried out on adjoining lands and thereby made an integral part of the agreement. Operations and special conditions covering such operations may include one or more of the following:

1. Grazing of cattle and other livestock is permitted provided the area is securely enclosed by appropriate fence to eliminate any possibility of animals getting outside of the enclosure.

2. Forage crops such as hay, cereals, etc. are permitted provided that their growth will not interfere with the safe and orderly movement of traffic on the highway, and that, after crops are harvested, the land is cleared, graded and seeded with cover crop in such a manner as to prevent erosion and present a neat and pleasing appearance.

3. Vegetable crops are permitted provided that its growth will not interfere with the safe and orderly movement of traffic on the highway, and that all plants will be removed promptly after crops are harvested and the land cleared, graded and seeded with cover crop in such a manner as to prevent erosion and present a neat and pleasing appearance.

4. Fruit trees are permitted to maintain existing fruit trees, provided that they are sprayed to control insects and diseases; fertilized and the area is kept generally clear of weeds, etc., but no guarantee of longevity may be expected.

5. Small fruits are permitted, but no guarantee of longevity may be expected.

6. Other uses as may be specifically approved.

C. Agricultural use agreements will be subject to revocation for cause or as outlined in subsection B of this section, either in whole or for any portion of the prescribed area that may be required for highway purposes, which may include one or more of the following:

1. Storage of road materials when other nearby suitable areas are not available;

2. The planting of trees and shrubs for permanent roadside effects;

3. The correction or improvement of drainage;

4. The development of wayside, parking or turnout areas; or

5. For other purposes as may be deemed necessary by the Commissioner of Highways.

D. Applications for agreements for agricultural uses shall be made to the district administrator's designee. Agreements must be accompanied by a sketch showing the location of the roadway, shoulders, ditches and conditions existing within the right-of-way, together with a description and plat of the area to be covered by it. The text of the application should describe in detail the specific use for which the area is to be utilized.

Agreements shall be issued only to owners of property adjoining the area to be used. Agreements may be made for terms not to exceed one year, subject to the cancellation terms in subsection C of this section. VDOT shall not be held responsible in any way for the policing of areas subject to agricultural use agreements. No structures are to be erected on areas subject to agricultural use agreements without written approval of the Commissioner of Highways.

Statutory Authority

§ 33.2-210 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 26, Issue 12, eff. March 17, 2010; amended, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 04, eff. November 23, 2011.

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