[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Ellington 7-8-2019, effective 7-31-2019. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Agriculture is a significant part of Ellington's heritage, and protecting farmland and farming activities is essential to quality of life, community character, and a sustainable economy. The purpose of this chapter is to protect agricultural land and to encourage agricultural operations in Ellington and to limit the circumstances in which agricultural operations can be considered a nuisance.
No present or future agriculture operation conducted or maintained in a manner consistent with accepted customs or standards of the agricultural industry, as such customs and standards may evolve over time, on a farm shall become or be considered a nuisance. Agriculture operations may occur on holidays, weekends, and weekdays by night and day, provided that such activities do not violate applicable health, safety, fire, life or building codes. It is hereby determined that whatever impact may be caused through generally accepted agricultural practices, that such is offset and ameliorated by the benefits of farming to the neighborhood, community, and society.
[Reference C.G.S. § 1-1(q), Definition of Agriculture] The terms "agriculture and farm" shall be defined as provided in C.G.S. § 1-1(q), as amended.
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 (1) odor from livestock, manure, crops or cover crops, fertilizer or feed, (2) noise from livestock, or farm equipment used in normal, generally acceptable farming procedures, (3) dust created during farming operations, (4) use of chemicals, provided that such chemicals and the method of their application conform to practices approved by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, or, where applicable, Commissioner of Public Health, or (5) water pollution from livestock or crop production activities, except the pollution of public or private drinking water supplies, provided that such activities conform to acceptable management practices for pollution control approved by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection; provided that 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 chapter 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 chapter shall restrict the power of the Ellington Planning and Zoning Commission, Inland Wetlands Agency, Planning, Building, Fire or Health Departments under the Connecticut General Statutes. The Planning and Zoning Commission is urged to adopt regulations consistent with this chapter, and partner with the Conservation Commission to make the permanent preservation of farmland within Ellington a criterion in planning and policy decisions.
When a residential subdivision or residential development is proposed adjacent to preserved farmland, actively farmed land, or an agricultural-related use, the following statement shall be noted on the plans and on each property deed contained in the subdivision or development: "This property abuts or is in proximity to a permanently protected farm and/or an active agricultural or farming operation. Agricultural operations sometime emit noise, run-off, odor, dust or chemical spray drift during either the day or night that are annoying or irritants to some people. Ellington is a right to farm community."
This chapter shall be interpreted by the Planning and Zoning Commission whose determinations shall be final and binding.
This chapter shall be effective 21 days after publication thereof in a newspaper having substantial circulation in the Town of Ellington.