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Farmland Preservation Program
Door County, Wisconsin


Kick-off - Nov. 2010

Towns Officials -
Jan. and March 2011

Clay Banks Info

Clay Banks Plan Map

Clay Banks Zoning Map

Zoning Options

General Info

Zoning Ordinance

Statute Requirements-
New Plans

State Program-
More Information

Farmers' Questions

Offer Input

Public Participation Plan

Process & Timeline for New Plan

WI Certified Exclusive Ag Zoning

Door County Working Lands Initiative Potential Participants

2010 Ag Assessed Parcels: Potential WLI Participants

Draft Farmland Preservation Related Maps


Video Presentation

A video of the November 30, 2010 Door County Farmland Preservation Plan Kick-off Meeting may be viewed on the following website:  The video is located in the “Government – Door County” section of the website.  Meetings are listed within each section by date.  DVDs of the video are also available at the Door County Planning Department or at the Sturgeon Bay Library.

Applications for State PACE and AEA Programs

Instructions for Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement (PACE) applications, along with examples of required documentation, may be found at
Examples of previously successful Agricultural Enterprise Area (AEA) petitions may be found at  (Click on the map to view the petition submitted by the geographic area in which you are interested.)  AEA application forms may be found at

Door County Planning, Soil & Water Conservation, and UW-Extension staff members will be happy to assist with completion of application requirements for either program. 

Background Information

Prior to July 1, 2009, the state farmland preservation law (Chapter 91, Wisconsin Statutes) allowed eligible farmers to potentially earn income tax credits for program participation if the county had a farmland preservation plan certified by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP).  If the county also had certified Exclusive Agricultural (EA) zoning district ordinance text, eligible farmers with land zoned EA could automatically earn tax credits; those in other districts or unzoned areas could earn credits upon successfully entering into individual contracts with DATCP.  Door County adopted its farmland preservation plan in 1982, which was certified by DATCP with no expiration date.  The county's zoning ordinance was also certified numerous times between 1982 and 2008. 

On July 1, 2009, a revised Ch. 91, Wis. Stats. (called the “Working Lands Initiative”), took effect.  It established new guidelines for farmland preservation plans and for EA zoning districts, established expiration dates for farmland preservations that did not have expiration dates, and disallowed new individual landowner farmland preservation contracts with DATCP unless the landowner was part of a larger group being designated by the state as an “Agricultural Enterprise Area.”  (Note:  Individual contracts with DATCP in place when the new legislation was adopted will be honored through their expiration date, but then may not be renewed.)  Certification of the farmland preservation plan and zoning ordinance text and map are still required for those in EA zoning districts to qualify to receive tax credits. 

In September 2010, Door County’s farmland preservation plan and zoning ordinance were both recertified by DATCP for minimal time periods:  the county will be required to have a new, certified farmland preservation plan in place by December 31, 2012 and the zoning ordinance certification will expire December 31, 2013.  The 2010 revised farmland preservation planning and zoning maps (which affected the Town of Clay Banks only) are posted here.  The remainder of the plan maps and the plan text – which relate to the entire county – may only be viewed at the Door County Planning Department during business hours; at nearly 30 years old, a digital version of the plan does not exist.  The Door County Zoning Ordinance may be viewed at , for users wishing to review current EA zoning regulations.  Note that the EA zoning district is currently only found in the Town of Clay Banks. 

Development of the New Farmland Preservation Plan

The specific statutory requirements for new farmland preservation plans are posted here.  More general information about the new state farmland preservation law/program may be found on the following DATCP website link:

Development of the county’s required new farmland preservation plan will follow the general process outlined in the attached document.  Please also see related posted materials for meetings and activities conducted to date