[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of White 8-8-1997 (Ch. 65, Art. I, of the 1977 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter in keeping with the policy of the New Jersey Legislature, as expressed in the Right to Farm Act, N.J.S.A. 4:1C-1 et seq., is to conserve, protect and encourage the development and improvement of agricultural lands within the Township for the production of food and other agricultural products and the preservation of open space and to protect and encourage the viability of the agricultural industry by establishing a positive agricultural business climate in order to promote agricultural production to serve the interests of all citizens of White Township. It is the purpose of this chapter to help reduce the loss of agricultural land in White Township by protecting commercial farms operated in accordance with acceptable methods and techniques of agricultural production from nuisance actions, while at the same time acknowledging the need to provide a proper balance among the varied and sometimes conflicting interests of all lawful activities in the State of New Jersey.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACCEPTABLE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
- Agricultural management practices recommended or endorsed by the State Agricultural Development Committee and all relevant federal or state statutes or rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
- COMMERCIAL FARM
- Any operation producing, with the exception of sale, agricultural or horticultural products worth $500 or more annually and which meet the eligibility requirements for differential property taxation pursuant to the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964, N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.1 et seq.
- Any private action which unreasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of another's property, which may be enjoined or abated, and for which the injured or affected property owner may recover damages.
In all relevant actions filed subsequent to the adoption of this chapter, it shall be presumed that a commercial farm or agricultural use, structure or activity in connection therewith which is conducted or located within White Township and which conforms to acceptable agricultural management practices and which does not pose a direct threat to public health and safety shall not constitute a public or private nuisance, nor shall any such use, activity, or structure be deemed to otherwise invade or interfere with the use and enjoyment of any other land or property or pose an unusual or unreasonable threat to persons.
Any agricultural use or common farmsite activity which conforms to acceptable agricultural management practices, when reasonable and necessary for the operation of the commercial farm, may occur on holidays, Sundays and weekdays, at night and in the day, subject to the restrictions and regulations of the Township's Zoning Ordinance, state and Township health and sanitary codes and state and federal environmental regulations.
Agricultural uses and common farmsite activities specifically protected by this chapter include but are not limited to production, harvesting, storage, grading, packaging and processing of farm products; wholesale and retail marketing of crops, plants, animals and other related commodities; the use and applications of techniques and methods of soil preparation and management; fertilization; weed, disease and pest control; disposal of farm waste; irrigation, drainage and water management; and grazing.
[Amended 6-5-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-4]
When the Township is in receipt of a complaint alleging that an agricultural use, structure or activity in connection with a commercial farm operation constitutes a nuisance or is not in conformance with acceptable management practices as defined herein, the Township Committee may refer the complaint to the duly appointed Agriculture Advisory Committee for mediation.
Upon referral of such a complaint by the Township Committee to the Agriculture Advisory Committee, the Committee shall invite the affected parties to discuss the nature of the complaint, its reasonableness or unreasonableness in light of acceptable management practices and any solution or remedy which will satisfy the aggrieved party without interfering with or discouraging the operation of the commercial farm against which the complaint was registered. Determination of whether the farm is following acceptable management practices shall be made by the State Agricultural Development Committee. The results of the meeting shall be nonbinding upon either party and shall not abridge the right of either party to take legal action concerning the complaint.
Whenever any farm property eligible for differential property taxation pursuant to the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964, N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.1 et seq., is subdivided, or a new major or minor subdivision abuts such farm property, or a new major or minor subdivision contains space of at least five acres in size not owned by individual homeowners or a homeowners' association, then the following language shall be inserted in the deeds to all lots:
The grantee hereby acknowledges notice that there are presently or may in the future be farm uses adjacent or in close proximity to the above-described premises. The grantee further acknowledges that the Township of White has adopted a Right-to-Farm Ordinance establishing acceptable farming activities which may result in the emanation of noise, odors, dust and fumes caused when such activities are conducted in accordance with recognized agricultural practices. Such activities include, but are not limited to, the production, harvesting, storage, grading, packaging and processing of crops, farm and horticultural products; the wholesale and retail marketing of crops, plants, livestock and other related commodities; the use and application of techniques and methods of soil preparation and management; fertilization; weed, disease and pest control by aerial and ground spraying; the spreading of manure and chemical and organic fertilizers; disposal of farm waste; irrigation, drainage and water management; and grazing. The grantee further acknowledges that such activities may occur on holidays, weekends, and at all times of the day, including early morning, evening and nighttime hours. By acceptance of this conveyance, the grantee does hereby waive objection to such activities.