[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of East Amwell 11-12-1998 by Ord. No. 98-22. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to recognize state law regarding the right to farm, such as the Right to Farm Act (N.J.S.A. 4:1C-1 et seq.) and to assure the continuation and expansion of commercial and home agricultural pursuits by encouraging a positive agricultural business climate and protecting the farmer against municipal regulations and private nuisance suits, where agricultural management practices are applied and are consistent with relevant federal and state law and nonthreatening to the public health and safety.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall having the meanings set opposite to them:
- Production for sale of plants and animals useful to man, including but not limited to forages and sod crops; grains and feed crops; dairy animals and dairy products; poultry and poultry products; livestock, including beef cattle, sheep, horses, ponies, mules or goats, including the breeding, boarding, raising, rehabilitating, training or grazing of any or all of such animals, except that "livestock" shall not include dogs; bees and apiary products; fur animals, trees and forest products; or when devoted to and meeting the requirements and qualifications for payments and other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government. "Agriculture" shall not include intensive poultry or swine production or extensive animal feed lot operations.
- A. A farm management unit of no less than five acres producing agricultural or horticultural products worth $2,500 or more annually and satisfying the eligibility criteria for differential property taxation pursuant to the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964 (N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.1 et seq.); or
- B. A farm management unit less than five acres producing agricultural or horticultural products worth $50,000 or more annually and otherwise satisfying the eligibility criteria for differential property taxation pursuant to the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964.
- FARM MANAGEMENT UNIT
- A parcel or parcels of land, whether contiguous or noncontiguous, together with agricultural or horticultural buildings, structures and facilities, producing agricultural or horticultural products and operated as a single enterprise.
- FARM STAND
- A facility for the wholesale or retail marketing of the agricultural output of a commercial farm, and products that contribute to farm income except that if a farm stand is used for retail marketing at least 51% of the annual gross sales of the retail farm stand shall be generated from sales of agricultural output of the commercial farm, or least 51% of the sales area shall be devoted to the sale of agricultural output of the commercial farm; provided, however, that if the retail farm stand is located on land less than five acres in area, the land on which the farm stand is located shall produce annually agricultural or horticultural products worth at least $2,500.
- 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.
The right to engage in agriculture, as defined herein, shall be permitted in the East Amwell Township as permitted by zoning and other land use regulations and as permitted by state law, and such uses and activities, and structures in connection therewith, shall not constitute a public or private nuisance, provided that the operation conforms to agricultural management practices recommended by the State Agricultural Development Committee and adopted pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq.) or whose specific operation or practice has been determined by Hunterdon County Agricultural Development Board to constitute a generally accepted agricultural operation or practice. Agricultural use shall include the following activities but not be limited to them:
The storage, processing, packaging and sale of farm products where produced.
The use of irrigation pumps and equipment, aerial and ground seeding and spraying, trucks, tractors and other equipment.
The application of manure, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and herbicides in accordance with manufacturers' instructions.
On-site disposal of organic agricultural waste.
Installation of soil and water conservation practices in accordance with a Conservation Plan approved by the Hunterdon County Soil Conservation District.
Transportation of slow-moving equipment over roads within the municipality.
Utilization of tractors and other necessary equipment.
The employment of farm laborers living on or off the farm.
The creation of noise, dust, odors and fumes inherently associated with such uses.
The conducting of farm practices at any and all times when necessary.
Recreational use as permitted by the farm owner, with the provision that any recreational use of farm land that changes the underlying agricultural nature of the land shall be subject to the usual site plan review, variance application and all permits where otherwise required.
Provisions for the wholesale and retail marketing of the agricultural output of the farm which include the building of temporary and permanent structures and parking areas for said purpose which all must conform with municipal land development standards.
The raising and keeping of farm animals, including pets, pastoral farm animals (dairy and beef cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats), swine, fowl, ostriches, horses, ponies and mules, provided that proper sanitation standards, minimum acreage limits and boundary sizes between fencing or enclosures and joining properties are established.
The control of vermin and pests, provided that such control is practiced under applicable state fish and game laws.
Conducting agriculture-related educational and farm-based recreational activities, provided that the activities are related to marketing the agricultural or horticultural output of the commercial farm.
Engaging in any other agricultural activity as determined by the State Agricultural Development Committee and adopted by rule or regulation pursuant to the provisions of the said Administrative Procedure Act (N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq.).
No agricultural activity, operation, or facility conducted or maintained for commercial purposes and in a manner consistent with relevant federal and state laws shall be or become a nuisance, public or private.
The purchaser of any real estate in East Amwell Township should be notified of the importance of our farming community and be provided with a copy of this chapter.
The following language shall be included in the deed of any newly subdivided lot in the township:
Grantee is hereby noticed there is, or may in the future be, farm use near the premises described in this deed, from which may emanate noise, odors, dust and fumes associated with agricultural practices permitted under the Right to Farm Ordinance of East Amwell Township.
The Township will take reasonable steps to make it possible for real estate salespersons to provide notification to prospective purchasers of land in this township, using language similar to the deed notification described just above.
The Municipal Clerk shall maintain records of all farm properties within the township which shall list names of the owners and the location of farms which do and do not receive differential property taxation pursuant to the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964 (N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.1).