[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Sardinia as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-12-2007 by L.L. No. 3-2007]
This article shall be known and cited as "A Local Law of the Town of Sardinia Establishing the Right-to-Farm Legislation."
The Sardinia Town Board finds, declares, and determines that agriculture is vital to the Town of Sardinia, New York, because it is a livelihood and provides employment for agriservice; provides locally produced fresh commodities; agricultural diversity promotes economic stability; agriculture maintains open space and promotes environmental quality; and agricultural land does not increase the demand for services provided by local governments. In order to maintain a viable farming economy in the Town of Sardinia, farmers must be afforded protection, allowing them the right to farm. When nonagricultural land uses extend into agricultural areas, agricultural operations may become the subject of nuisance suits. As a result, agricultural operations are sometimes forced to cease operation or are discouraged from making investments in agricultural improvements.
It is the purpose of this article to reduce the loss to the Town of Sardinia of its agricultural resources by limiting the circumstances under which farming may be deemed a nuisance and to allow agricultural practices inherent to and necessary for the business of farming to proceed and be undertaken free of unreasonable and unwarranted interference or restriction.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
- All activities conducted by a farmer on a farm to produce agricultural products and which are inherent and necessary to the operation of a farm, and the on-farm production, processing and marketing of agricultural products, including, but not limited to, the collection, transportation, distribution, storage and land application of animal wastes; storage, transportation and use of equipment for tillage, planting, harvesting, irrigation, fertilization, and pesticide application; storage and use of legally permitted fertilizers, limes, and pesticides, all in accordance with local, state, and federal law and regulations and in accordance with manufacturers' instructions and warnings; storage, use, and application of animal feed and foodstuffs; construction and use of farm structures and facilities for the storage of animal wastes, farm equipment, pesticides, fertilizers, agricultural products, and livestock; for the sale of agricultural products; and for the use of farm labor as permitted by local and state building codes and regulations, including the construction and maintenance of fences.
- AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
- Those products as defined in § 301, Subdivision 2, of Article 25-AA of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
- The land, buildings, and machinery used in the production, whether for profit or otherwise, of agricultural products.
- Any person, organization, entity, association, partnership, or corporation engaged in the business of agriculture, for profit or otherwise, including the cultivation of land, the raising of crops, or the raising of livestock, poultry, fur-bearing animals, or fish, the harvesting of timber, or the practicing of horticulture or apiculture.
- GENERALLY ACCEPTED AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
- Those practices which are feasible, lawful, inherent, customary, necessary, reasonable, normal, safe, and typical to the industry or unique to the commodity as they pertain to the practices listed in § 61-2A entitled "agricultural practices."
- RESOLUTION COMMITTEE
- Shall be made up of the Chairman of the Planning Board or designee, and a member of one other standing committee of the Town designated by the Supervisor.
Unless specifically defined, the above words or phrases used in this article shall be interpreted so as to give them meanings they have in common usage, and to give this article its most reasonable application.
Farmers, as well as those employed, retained, or otherwise authorized to act on behalf of farmers, may lawfully engage in agricultural practices within the Town of Sardinia at all such times and in all such locations as are reasonably necessary to conduct the business of agriculture. For any agriculture practice, in determining the reasonableness of the time, place, and methodology of such practice, 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.
Agricultural practices conducted on farmland shall not be found to be a public or private nuisance if such agricultural practices are:
Reasonable and necessary to the particular farm or farm operation.
Conducted in a manner which is not negligent or reckless.
Conducted in conformity with generally accepted agricultural practices.
Conducted in conformity with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
Conducted in a manner which does not constitute a threat to public health and safety or cause injury to health and safety of any person; and
Conducted in a manner which does not unreasonably obstruct the free passage or use of navigable waters or public roadways.
Nothing in this article should be construed to prohibit an aggrieved party from recovering damages for bodily injury or wrongful death due to failure to follow sound agricultural practices, as set forth in this section.