[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Phelps 7-22-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Farming is important to the Town of Phelps as it reinforces the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens, provides employment for agriservices, provides locally produced fresh commodities, promotes economic stability, maintains open space, promotes environmental quality and does not increase the demand for services provided by local government.
In order to maintain a viable farming economy in the Town of Phelps, farmers must be afforded protection allowing them the right to farm. Therefore, the Town of Phelps emphasizes to newcomers and serves to remind current residents that this Town encourages its agriculture and requests newcomers and serves to remind current residents, to be understanding of the necessary day-to-day operations involving agribusinesses.
In order to address the unique circumstances facing agriculture in the Town of Phelps, it is necessary to provide for more comprehensive local right-to-farm protection as provided in this chapter.
It is the general purpose and intent of this chapter to maintain and preserve the rural tradition and character of the Town of Phelps, to permit the continuation of agricultural practices, to protect the existence and operation of farms and to encourage the initiation and expansion of farms and agricultural businesses.
For the purposes of reducing future conflicts between farmers and nonfarmers, it is necessary for notice to be given to its neighbors about the nature of agricultural practices.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
- Includes all farming activities conducted necessary to the operation of the agricultural operation.
- A fenced area inhabited by livestock where vegetation is
not maintained.[Added 8-13-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
- Includes, but is not limited to, livestock, dairy, poultry, forbearing animals, aquaculture, fruit, vegetable and field crop farms, plantations, orchards, nurseries, greenhouses or other similar operations used primarily for raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities.
- LIVESTOCK STRUCTURE
- Any structure used for the housing of livestock.[Added 8-13-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
- MANURE STORAGE/MANURE COMPOST STORAGE AND MANURE STOCKPILE/MANURE COMPOST STOCKPILE
- A facility constructed as an accessory use to an animal husbandry
use, riding stable, or kennel, intended to hold, process, store, treat,
or distribute solid and liquid waste from animal livestock. Included
within this definition are system storage tanks, lagoons, drains,
and collection systems that handle animal waste. Not included within
this definition are systems designed and constructed to handle human
waste.[Added 8-13-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
On any land which may be lawfully used for agricultural purposes in the Town of Phelps, whether or not it is located in an agricultural district, an agricultural practice shall not constitute a public or private nuisance, provided that such agricultural practice constitutes a sound agricultural practice pursuant to an opinion issued upon request by the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.
Farmers, as well as those employed, retained or otherwise authorized to act on behalf of farmers, may lawfully engage in farming practices within the Town of Phelps at any and all such times and all such locations as are reasonably necessary to conduct the business of farming. For any activity or operation, in determining the reasonableness of the time, place and methodology of such operation, due weight and consideration shall be given to both traditional customs and procedures in the farming industry as well as to advances resulting from increased knowledge and improved technologies.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an aggrieved party from recovering damages for bodily injury or wrongful death.
In accordance with New York State Agriculture and Markets Law § 310, at the time of the purchase contract, for sale or exchange of real property located partially or wholly within an agriculture district, the prospective grantor shall deliver to the prospective grantee a notice which states the following:
The above notice shall also be included on building permits and on plats of subdivisions submitted for approval pursuant to Town Law § 276. Also the Town Clerk will notify all real estate agents and attorneys of record in the Town of Phelps about the disclosure requirements.
[Added 8-13-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
Barnyard and/or livestock structure. If there is an existing well, landowners, lessees, occupants, easement holders or any other person(s) or entity(ies) with a legal or beneficial interest are not allowed to establish a land use of a barnyard and/or livestock structure within 100 feet of any well on level ground and 200 feet from the well if the site is above the well.
Manure storage, manure compost storage, manure stockpile or manure compost stockpile. If there is a preexisting well, landowners, lessees, occupants, easement holders or any other person(s) or entity(ies) with a legal or beneficial interest are not allowed to establish a land use of manure storage, manure compost storage, manure stockpile or manure compost stockpile within 100 feet of any well on level ground and 200 feet from well if upgradient of any well. If a manure storage, manure compost storage, manure stockpile or manure compost stockpile has been designed by a qualified design professional with an operational and maintenance plan to prevent contamination of surface water and groundwater, a one-hundred-foot setback from an existing well is required.
Any manure storage, manure compost storage, manure stockpile and/or manure compost stockpile which exceeds 1,200 cubic feet for a period exceeding 120 days or 10,000 gallons requires a site plan map designed by a New York State professional engineer showing the facility, a building permit and a review with the Town of Phelps Planning Board pursuant to Chapter 115, Site Plan Review, of the Code of the Town of Phelps that is in keeping with this chapter.
[Added 8-13-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
The Code Enforcement Officer shall give written notice of violation to the owner of the property on which a manure storage, manure compost storage, manure stockpile or manure compost stockpile is put into operation that is not in compliance with this chapter, and if it appears that such violation may have been caused by someone other than the owner of the property, the Code Enforcement Office shall also give such written notice of violation to lessees, occupants, easement holders or any other person(s) or entity(ies) with a legal or beneficial interest in the property, as applicable to the violation. This notice shall give a time period in which such violation shall be corrected. Failure to remedy the violation within the time period specified in the notice shall be punishable as hereinafter provided.
[Added 8-13-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not more than $250 or to imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each week the violation shall continue shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.
Compliance with this chapter may also be compelled and violations restrained by order or by injunction of a court of competent jurisdiction.