[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Oldmans 12-13-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-18. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The title of the ordinance comprising this chapter is "An ordinance amending the Code of the Township of Oldmans by adding a new Chapter 4 to be entitled Agricultural Advisory Committee."
The governing body of the Township of Oldmans finds that the needs and concerns of farmland owners and operators within the community are important and must be understood by Township officials and residents. In order to protect and maintain the beneficial character of agriculture to the Township of Oldmans, farmland preservation plans must be complemented by establishing, protecting, and maintaining within the jurisdiction of the Township of Oldmans, Salem County, and the State of New Jersey a positive business climate for agriculture. The interest of farmers in making reasonable economic use of their farms, preserved or not, must be taken into consideration when Township of Oldmans considers new or revised plans, policies and ordinances.
The specific purposes and intent of establishing an Agricultural Advisory Committee in Township of Oldmans are to:
Represent the needs and concerns of farmland owners and operators within the community and facilitate communication and understanding among Township officials, residents and the agricultural community;
Assist Township officials in efforts to plan for the continuation of agriculture and prevent the loss of agricultural resources;
Review the impact of existing and proposed plans, policies and ordinances on the agricultural community and recommend changes as needed;
Assist in meeting eligibility requirements for planning incentive grants administered by the State Agriculture Development Committee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 2:76:-17 and 2:76-17A;
Ensure that previous and ongoing public investment in the preservation of agricultural land by the residents of Oldmans, Salem County, and the State of New Jersey is reinforced by policies at all levels of government to allow for a viable agriculture industry into the future; and
Ensure that the municipal Right-to-Farm Ordinance is consistent with the State Model Right-to-Farm Ordinance and that other municipal ordinances and development regulations reinforce that farmers operating under generally accepted agricultural practices are not a nuisance to the community.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AREA (ADA)
- Areas identified by a County Agricultural Development Board pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:1C-11 et seq. and certified by the State Agriculture Development Committee where agriculture is the preferred land use. ADAs encompass productive agricultural land in zones that permit agriculture; are reasonably free of conflicting suburban and conflicting commercial development; comprise not more than 90% of the county's agricultural land base; and include other characteristics deemed important by the County Agriculture Development Board.
- COUNTY AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT BOARD (CADB)
- A public body established by a county governing body pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:1C-14 to help implement the state's Agriculture Retention and Development Act and Right to Farm Act. A CADB must be comprised of seven voting members who are residents of the county. A majority of the voting members must be actively engaged in agriculture.
- STATE AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE (SADC)
- A public body within, but independent from, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:1C-4. The SADC administers the state's farmland preservation programs, including grants to counties, municipalities and nonprofit organizations to fund the purchase of development easements of farmland; directly purchasing farms and development easements from landowners; and providing matching grants to implement soil and water conservation projects.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 4:1C-1 et seq.
There is hereby established within Oldmans an Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC). The AAC shall serve as an ad hoc advisory committee to the Planning Board. The Township of Oldmans is empowered to establish an Agricultural Advisory Committee pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:1C-43.1b(2).
The AAC shall be composed of at least three, but not more than five, residents of the Township of Oldmans. A majority of the members must be actively engaged in farming and own at least a portion of the land they farm. The farmer-members shall, to the extent possible, represent the different scales and types of operations and different land tenure arrangements within Oldmans.
Members shall be appointed by the Mayor with the consent of a majority of the Township Committee. Each member shall serve a term of three years. Members shall select a Chairperson, who shall serve as a liaison between the AAC and the Planning Board, the Salem County CADB and/or the SADC (if applicable). The AAC shall designate a Secretary to keep notes of its meeting, which shall be submitted to the Planning Board, Township Committee, CADB and, if applicable, the SADC within 30 days. The Chairperson, or his/her appointed designee, shall serve as the spokesperson for the Committee to the Township Committee, Planning Board, CADB and, if applicable, the SADC.
A member of the AAC or a member of his or her immediate family is prohibited from selling or applying to sell a development easement on his or her property or from selling or applying to sell his or her property in fee-simple title pursuant to the Agriculture Retention and Development Act, N.J.S.A. 4:1C-11 et seq. and the Garden State Preservation Trust Act, N.J.S.A. 13:8C-1 et seq.
"Members of the immediate family" means a member's spouse, child, parent, or sibling residing in the same household.
[Amended 12-9-2020 by Ord. No. 2020-13]
The AAC shall report to the Oldmans Township Committee. As per current SADC recommendations the Committee shall hold a minimum of two in-person meetings in a calendar year, and shall perform such duties as may be requested by the Township Committee, including, but not limited to:
Participating in the identification of project areas and/or target farms in the Township suitable for farmland preservation.
Alerting local officials to issues in the farming community that should be considered when using municipal regulatory and land use authority.
Reviewing existing and proposed ordinances for impacts or potential impacts upon the farming community, including all ordinances affecting land use in agricultural development areas. This may include recommending growth management strategies such as transfer or development rights that have the potential to protect agricultural land while maintaining landowners' equity.
Assisting the Planning Board in the development of a farmland preservation plan element pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-28b(13) and N.J.A.C. 2:76-17.6(a) and 2:76-17A.3(a)3.
Assisting, through consultation, the Planning Board and the governing body in adjustments and amendments to the farmland preservation Master Plan element and the list of farms to be included in the county or state easement and fee-simple acquisition programs.
Assisting the Planning Board in developing and considering amendments developed through Master Plan reexaminations and any other changes that would have an affect of the viability of farms within an ADA.
Reviewing and promoting economic development strategies being developed by the CADB for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and/or the SADC.
Encouraging the development of local outlets for agricultural products, including farmers' markets, farm stands, institutional purchasers, and restaurants.
Supporting adoption of model agricultural viability ordinances promoted by the CADB.
Encouraging the development of agricultural infrastructure to support local producers.
Attending monthly CADB and SADC meetings and reporting back to the AAC on county and statewide policy issues.
Upon adoption, this chapter will be incorporated into and become part of the Code of the Township of Oldmans.