Agritourism is the intersection of agriculture and tourism, when the public visits rural areas for recreation, education, enjoyment, entertainment, adventure or relaxation. Agritourism uses the rural experience as a tool for economic development.
Agritourism is recognized as a vital tool for sustaining the family farm and represents significant economic potential for the community in general.
“These Regulations are intended to foster and promote Agritourism in Douglas County, in keeping with the State of Kansas policy of encouraging Agritourism, while ensuring the public health, safety and welfare is protected." (Section 12-319-7 Zoning Regulations)
Interactive Map: Click to view the registered agritourism locations within Douglas County. All registered agritourism locations have worked with the State and County to ensure their agritourism operations are permitted. If you have an idea for an agritourism use on your property, please reach out and staff will gladly walk you through the steps.
The regulations do not apply to agriculturally exempt purposes. (Per K.S.A. 12- 758 and Douglas County Zoning Regulation Section 12-304-6.01, is land and buildings used exclusively for agricultural purposes are exempt from County Zoning Regulations.)
For instance: a U-Pick berry patch on a 40 acre farm, with the sale of no ancillary products (products that are not agriculturally produced on site) would be considered an agricultural use. If the U-Pick berry patch decided to also sell planting pots and t-shirts, the use would be considered “retail” rather than Ag. The Kansas courts have decided a wide variety of cases involving whether a particular use was or was not an agricultural purpose. The Zoning and Codes office (785-331-1343) can assist in making the determination as to whether the proposed use is considered Agriculture.
Where does your use fit? Determine if you a Tier 1 or a Tier 2.
Tier 1 (low intensity) - Can be registered administratively.
If your use meets the criteria below:
Tier 2 (medium intensity) – Registration requires County Commission approval.
If your use meets the criteria, it is a Tier 2 use:
The next step is to register your agritourism business with the State of Kansas. You can visit the Kansas Agritourism website to register your business. You will need to follow the State's requirements. Upon approval, they will send you confirmation and a certificate. Bring the information to the Zoning & Codes Department to apply for the County's agritourism licensing.
If your answer is Yes: Provide State registration, site plan and other information regarding your use to the Zoning and Codes office. Tier 1 may be administratively approved. Tier 2 requires public notification and Board of County Commission approval.
If your answer is No: Contact the Zoning and Codes office to determine if your use is permitted with Conditional Use Permit (CUP), Special Event Permit or Rezoning.