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Agricultural Support Enterprises

Orange County is considering amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to adopt a program known as “Agricultural Support Enterprises” (ASE).  The ASE program has been in development since 2001.  The purpose of the program is to expand the allowable activities farmers throughout Orange County’s planning jurisdiction can pursue in order to generate additional farm-related income and to potentially allow farming-support and farming-related uses in rural areas while minimizing any adverse impacts on adjoining property by applying special standards for specific activities and the development requirements in the County’s UDO for all projects.  By better enabling farmers to stay in the business of farming, the rural, farming heritage of Orange County will continue to be preserved.

Public Hearing

Public comments on the proposed amendments will be heard by the Board of County Commissioners and Planning Board at the February 24, 2014 quarterly public hearing.  The public hearing will be held at the Department of Social Services, Hillsborough Commons, 113 Mayo Street in Hillsborough and will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Public Information Meeting


Prior to the formal public hearing, Planning Department staff will hold a Public Information Meeting so that interested people can learn more about the proposal and ask questions in an informal setting.  The Public Information Meeting will be held on

February 13,    February 17, 2014 in the Food Lab of the Environmental and Agricultural Center located at 306 Revere Road in Hillsborough.  The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Rural Buffer

Because applying the ASE concept in the Rural Buffer (see link below to the Future Land Use Map which shows the geographic area of the Rural Buffer) will require text amendments to the Joint Planning Area (JPA) Land Use Plan and Agreement, the program has been divided into 2 separate text amendments: 

1) to consider/adopt the Comprehensive Plan and UDO amendments necessary to apply the ASE program outside of the Rural Buffer, and

2) to consider/adopt the Comprehensive Plan and UDO amendments necessary to apply the ASE program within the Rural Buffer land use classification. 


The required amendments to the JPA Land Use Plan and Agreement is anticipated to occur during 2014 but the Rural Buffer information has been separated from the remainder of the county since the Rural Buffer portion is expected to be on a longer timeframe of review.