Stanly commissioners table decision on farm’s EVAD application
Published 10:04 am Thursday, June 2, 2022
Stanly County Commissioners recently tabled a decision regarding one Stanfield farm’s application to reclassify as an Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural District (EVAD).
Joshua and Rebecca Gibson of 1101 Polk Ford Road in Stanfield applied for an EVAD for two tracts of land totaling 13.37 acres.
A voluntary agricultural district publicly recognizes farm land and protects farms from “negative impacts, such as waivers of water and sewer assessments, and public hearings for proposed condemnation,” according to the North Carolina Department of Agricultural & Consumer Services website. An EVAD protects farms from development for 10 years.
Several citizens spoke out during public comments against the EVAD designation for the farm, with one contention being the property is not being used for farming or agricultural business. Thomas Morton noted a case will come before the local Board of Adjustments about the property regarding it being a “bona fide farm.”
Rebecca Gibson said the EVAD status “does nothing to change whether we are a bona fide farm or not.”
Later in the meeting, County Extension Director Molly Alexi and Soil and Water District Director Amanda Kirby presented the EVAD applications for commissioners’ approval. Alexi said the ag advisory board approved the application April 20.
Chairman Tommy Jordan asked county attorney Jenny Furr whether a property is a bona fide farm has any bearing on being a voluntary ag district.
“I would think the determination as far as whether or not the property is a bona fide farm per our zoning ordinance…is not a factor in determining whether or not the property is qualified for either being a VAD or EVAD.”
Commissioner Bill Lawhon moved to table the item until the Board of Adjustments made its decision, seconded by Commissioner Scott Efird. The motion to table the item passed unanimously.