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Permits are required in all county zoning districts. There is no category of zoning called “agricultural” – agricultural uses are allowed in the “Rural” zoning districts. Agricultural uses are allowed in any zoning district with an Agricultural Exemption. Please call 602-506-3301 for more information.
The approved land use file must contain representation (on a site plan) of the improvements which qualify as exempt. Those that do qualify will not be required to get permits from Planning and Development. However, improvements which are not incidental to the exempted use require permits and must meet applicable regulations.
It may qualify, but minimum requirements have to be met. An application for an agricultural exemption must be processed and approved after obtaining approval from the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office with an Agricultural Status. An agricultural exemption certificate may then be issued. This exemption certificate authorizes the approved use of the property to be exempt from the County Building Codes, Zoning Ordinance, and Drainage Regulations. However, other regulatory agencies such as Flood Control & Environmental Services still have the authority to regulate.
The land use application for an agricultural exemption certificate is available on the Planning & Development website. Select the “Information Packet & Application” on the Agricultural Exemption page.
To qualify for an agricultural exemption, the property must be a minimum of 5 contiguous commercial acres (175,000 square feet). More than one parcel is acceptable as long as they are contiguous. It must have an agricultural use classification assigned by the County Assessor's Office. To receive this, an application to the Assessor's Office is required and the use must qualify to be exempt as per the Maricopa County Zoning Ordinance. You may then request an Agricultural Exemption Certificate to be issued by the Planning and Development Department.
The Zoning Ordinances states: This Ordinance shall not prevent, restrict or otherwise regulate the use or occupation of land or improvements for railroad, mining, metallurgical, grazing or general agricultural purposes, if the tract/s concerned is/are 5 or more contiguous commercial acres in size (Note: 1 Commercial acre = 35,000 square feet).1. Property is not exempt from the Maricopa County Zoning Ordinance and/or Building Safety Ordinance unless and until the Maricopa Planning and Development Department has issued a certificate of exemption for that property. In order to secure a certificate of exemption, an applicant shall submit a zoning clearance application, including site plan and other reasonable supporting documentation.2. Only property classified by the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office or the Arizona Department of Revenue as property used for one of the purposes enumerated in the first paragraph of this section is eligible for exemption under this section. If property has been so classified, the property is exempt from the Maricopa County Zoning Ordinance and/or Building Safety Ordinance, unless the Planning and Development Director independently determines that all or part of the property is not used primarily for one or more of the purposes enumerated in the first paragraph of this section.3. Any structures built under an exemption that do not meet the underlying zoning district and/or Building Safety Ordinance standards may be required to comply with said standards if, at a future date, the exemption is no longer applicable.