[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Washington 12-21-1999 by Ord. No. 99-14. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The intent 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 inappropriate municipal regulations and private nuisance suits, where best management practices are applied and are consistent with relevant federal and state law and nonthreatening to the public health and safety.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- 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 and 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.
- 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.
The right to engage in agriculture, as defined herein, shall be permitted in this Township as permitted by zoning and other land use regulations and as permitted by state law, and it shall be presumed that 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 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 the Warren County Agricultural Development Board to constitute a generally accepted agricultural operation or practice.
The owner and operator of a commercial farm, qualifying under N.J.S.A. 4:1C-9 (of the State Right to Farm Act) may engage in all agricultural activities permitted by N.J.S.A. 4:1C-9.
Nothing in this chapter, however, despite any other wording in this chapter, shall be construed to permit any use of land or structure in any manner contrary to the zoning regulations of this Township (including the provisions of Chapter 123 of this Code and any future zoning ordinance or regulation of the Township) or to permit any use of land or building or any activity or conduct which is contrary to any other ordinance or regulation of the Township, including those of its Board of Health, or which is contrary to any other local or any federal, state or county statute, law or regulation.
The purchaser of any real estate in this Township in any zoning district where agriculture is a permitted principal use should be notified of the importance of our farming community and be provided with a copy of this Right-To-Farm Ordinance.
The following language shall be included in the deed of any newly subdivided lot in this Township, any part of which is located in any zoning district where agriculture is a permitted principal use:
The Township shall 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.