[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Guilford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Agricultural Commission — See Ch. 3.
The title of this article shall be the "Town of Guilford Right to Farm Ordinance."
This article is enacted pursuant to the powers conferred upon by Section 7-148(c)(7)(E) and in furtherance of the goals of Section 19a-341 of the Connecticut General Statutes. The purpose of this article is to protect agricultural land and to encourage agricultural operations and the sale of local farm products within the Town, consistent with the Town's heritage and for the benefit of the Town's residents, by limiting the circumstances in which agricultural operations can be considered a nuisance.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this article:
- AGRICULTURE or AGRICULTURAL OPERATION or FARMING OPERATION
- The cultivation of the soil, dairying, forestry, raising or harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity, including the raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training and management of livestock, including horses, bees, poultry, fur-bearing animals and wildlife, and the raising or harvesting of oysters, clams, mussels, other molluscan shellfish or fish; the operation, management, conservation, improvement or maintenance of a farm and its buildings, tools and equipment, or salvaging timber or cleared land of brush or other debris left by a storm, as an incident to farming operations; the production or harvesting of maple syrup or maple sugar, or any agricultural commodity, including lumber, as an incident to ordinary farming, or the harvesting of mushrooms, the hatching of poultry, or the construction, operation or maintenance of ditches, canals, reservoirs or waterways used primarily for farming purposes; handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing or delivering to storage or to market, or to a carrier for transportation to market, or for direct sale, any agricultural or horticultural commodity as an incident to farming operations or, in the case of fruits and vegetables, as an incident to the preparation of such fruits or vegetables for market or for direct sale.
- That portion of each tract of land that is used or was historically used for agricultural or farming operations. In conformance with Section 1-1q of the Connecticut General Statutes, the term "farm" also includes farm buildings and accessory buildings thereto, nurseries, orchards, ranges, greenhouses, hoophouses and other temporary structures or other structures used primarily for the raising and, as an incident to ordinary farming operations, the sale of agricultural or horticultural commodities.
Notwithstanding any general statute or municipal ordinance or regulation pertaining to nuisances to the contrary, no agriculture or farming operation, place, establishment or facility, or any of its appurtenances, or the operation thereof shall be deemed to constitute a nuisance, either public or private, due to alleged objectionable:
Odor from livestock, manure, fertilizer or feed;
Noise from livestock, or farm equipment used in normal, generally acceptable farming procedures;
Dust created during plowing or cultivation operations;
Use of chemicals, provided such chemicals and the method of their application conform to practices approved by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection or, where applicable, the Commissioner of Public Health; or
Water pollution from livestock or crop production activities, except the pollution of public or private drinking water supplies, provided such activities conform to acceptable management practices for pollution control approved by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection; provided such agricultural or farming operation, place, establishment or facility has been in operation for one year or more and has not been substantially changed and such operation follows generally accepted agricultural practices. Inspection and approval of the agricultural or farming operation, place, establishment or facility by the Commissioner of Agriculture or his designee shall be prima facie evidence that such operation follows generally accepted agricultural practices.
The provisions of this article shall not apply whenever a nuisance results from negligence or willful or reckless misconduct in the operation of any such agriculture or farming operation, place, establishment or facility, or any of its appurtenances.
Nothing contained in this article shall restrict the power of the Guilford Planning and Zoning Commission under Chapter 124 of the General Statutes. The Planning and Zoning Commission is urged to adopt regulations consistent with this article and to make the permanent preservation of farmland within this municipality a criterion in its planning and policy decisions.