[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hillsborough as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land use and development — See Ch. 188.
Article I Right to Farm
[Adopted by 9-14-1982 by Ord. No. 86-16 (Ch. 41 of the 1977 Code)]
The Township Committee finds that farming has existed and been carried on in the Township for hundreds of years and long before the residential development that has since been prevalent in the Township. The Township Committee further finds that residences have been located in close proximity to existing "working" farms that engage in spraying, the spreading of animal wastes, fertilizing and irrigation as well as other activities which are indigenous to farming. The Township Committee finds and determines that farmers must be secure in their ability to earn a livelihood and utilize customary farming procedures and techniques.
The Township further finds that whatever burden may be caused to contiguous property owners it is offset by the benefits from farming to the Township, county and state, as well as the preservation of open space areas within the Township.
[Amended 7-23-1996 by Ord. No. 96-07]
This article shall not be construed as a Zoning Ordinance and does not supersede any Zoning Ordinance and the rights and privileges arising from said ordinances. It is the intent of this chapter to protect farming from being found to be a nuisance when practiced according to customary farming practices. The utilization of food industry waste and by-product feeds is a farming method requiring highly specialized management procedures and not to be considered a customary farming practice. However, adherence to best management practices (BMP's) as set forth by the Somerset County Agricultural Agent, designed to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare from uncustomary foul and noxious odors, with compliance confirmation from the Township Health Officer, will provide the farmer with the protection afforded in this article.
The right to farm those lands and properties zoned for that use and properties currently being farmed within the Township of Hillsborough is hereby recognized to exist as a right of the farmer, his agents or assigns to utilize his land and properties in such a manner as to pursue his livelihood, subject only to the restrictions and regulations set forth in the existing Township, county, and State Health Code and Regulations. This right to farm recognizes the use of large irrigation pumps and equipment, aerial and ground seeding and spraying, large tractors, and the application of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides, as well as other customary farm equipment utilized by the farmer for the purpose of producing from the land agricultural products such as vegetables, grains, hay, fruits, fibers, wood, trees, plants, shrubs, flowers and seeds. The right to farm shall also include the right to utilize the land for grazing of animals subject to the restrictions for intensive fowl or livestock farms or such restrictions as may be required by county, state and federal laws.
The activities set forth herein incidental to the right to farm and when reasonable and necessary for that particular farming activity and livestock or fowl production, and when conducted in accordance with generally accepted agricultural practices, may occur on holidays, Sundays and weekdays, and at night and during the day. The noise, odors, dust and fumes that are caused by these activities are recognized as ancillary to the permitted activities set forth in this chapter and the right to farm.