I’m working with another church in my area. They’ve committed to planting bee trees and doing some food forest in town to help support bees and feed the poor and homeless in our area. Some farmers might want to donate some acreage to the community for a community food forest. The question that I have is:
How do we structure this legally? Who do I ask to get the zoning changed? Who will be responsible for the taxes? I’m assuming a lot of this is “it depends.” If anyone can point me to who I need to talk to I would appreciate it.
When you reach your lowest point, you are open to the greatest change.
If it's zoned agricultural would it need to be changed? If the land is donated to the church it may not be taxable as it's a religious organisation and any taxes might have to be paid by donations specifically earmarked for that. As for the legal structure, I would see if anyone in the congregation is a lawyer and, instead of running them out of town, see if they'll advise and set it up pro bono. If not, approach lawyers until you find someone who'll do it. You might also check with Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund to see if they will help or can point you in the right direction.
A piece of land is worth as much as the person farming it.
-Le Livre du Colon, 1902