[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of New Lebanon as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 7-10-2006 by L.L. No. 2-2006]
It is hereby found and declared by the Town Board of the Town of New Lebanon that agriculture lands are irreplaceable assets. To that end, the Town Board affirms that farming is an essential activity. Farming, as defined in this article, reinforces the special quality of life enjoyed by citizens, provides the visual benefit of open space and generates economic benefits and social well-being within the community. Therefore, it is emphasized to residents that this municipality encourages its agriculture and requests its residents to be understanding of the necessary day-to-day operations associated with agricultural land use.
It is the general purpose and intent of this article to maintain and preserve the rural tradition and character of the Town of New Lebanon, to permit the continuation of agriculture practices and the business of farming and to encourage the initiation and expansion of farms and agricultural businesses. In recognition of the fact that there are many practices and activities which are inherent to and necessary for the business of farming, it is the specific purpose and intent of this article to attain the aforementioned goals and objectives by providing that such practices and activities may proceed and be undertaken free of unreasonable and unwarranted interference or restrictions.
The Town Board, in an effort to promote and foster a harmonious relationship between the residents of the Town of New Lebanon, and to conserve, protect and encourage the development and improvement of agriculture land for the production of food and other products, hereby declares that it shall be the policy of the Town of New Lebanon to provide reasonable notice to prospective landowners that farming activities may occur on neighboring lands.
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this article shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this article its most reasonable and effective application.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AGRICULTURAL FARM OPERATIONS
- Any person, organization, entity, association, partnership or corporation engaged in the business of agriculture or farming or agriculture practices whether for profit or otherwise.
- AGRICULTURAL LAND
- Any single or multiple, contiguous or noncontiguous parcel or parcels that together represent all that real property within the boundaries of the Town of New Lebanon currently used for agriculture farm operations or upon which agriculture practices are being utilized or upon which agriculture farm operations or agriculture practices may in the future be established or utilized.
- (1) Include all activities conducted on a farm necessary to the operation of a farm and shall mean any activity, including the cultivation of land, the raising of crops, the raising of livestock, dairy, poultry, stables and horse-boarding facilities, horticulture, timber and fur-bearing animals; the production, whether for sale to others or home use or consumption, of plants and animals, fruit, vegetable and field crops; plantations, orchards, nurseries, greenhouses or other similar agricultural practices used primarily for the raising, marketing or sales of on-premises-produced agricultural or horticultural commodities. Further, agricultural practices shall include any activity now permitted by law, engaged in, by or on behalf of a farmer in connection with and in furtherance of the business of agriculture or farming and shall include, without limitation, the collection, transportation, distribution and storage of animal and poultry waste; storage, transportation and use of equipment for tillage, planting, harvesting and marketing; transportation, storage and use of legally permitted fertilizers and limes, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, all in accordance with local, state and federal law and in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and warnings; construction of farm structures and facilities as permitted by local and state building code regulation; construction and maintenance of fences and other enclosures; and the use and/or maintenance of related pastures, idle or fallow land, woodland, wetland, farm ponds, farm roads and certain farm buildings and other structures related to the agriculture practices.
- (2) The following examples are intended to be illustrative of common agricultural practices covered within this definition, but are not inclusive:
- (a) Providing for the wholesale and retail marketing, including the U-pick marketing, and sales of the agricultural output of the farm and related products that contribute to farm income, including the sale at the owner's farm stand of agricultural products, so long as at least 75% of the annual gross sales of the farm stand have been grown on said farm.
- (b) Replenishing soil nutrients, including, but not limited to, the spreading of manure and applying approved chemical and organic fertilizers.
- (c) Using federally approved products, in accordance with label instructions, as recommended by the New York Agricultural Experiment Station and the United States and New York Environmental Protection Agencies for the control of pests, predators, varmints, disease affecting plants and livestock and for the control of weed infestation.
- (d) Transporting large, slow-moving equipment over roads within the Town of New Lebanon, in accordance with local, state and federal law and regulation.
- (e) Clearing of woods using accepted techniques, installing and maintaining vegetative and terrain alterations and other physical facilities for water and soil conservation and surface water control.
- (3) The foregoing uses, activities and rights when reasonable and necessary for agricultural or horticultural production or when conducted in accordance with generally accepted agricultural practices, may occur on holidays, Sundays and weekends, day or night.
- Includes livestock, dairy, poultry, fur-bearing animal, agricultural, fruit, vegetable and field crop farms, plantations, orchards, nurseries, greenhouses or other similar operations used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities.
- Any person, organization, entity, association, partnership or corporation engaged in the agricultural farm operation or agricultural practices as defined herein.
- The act of engaging in an agricultural farm operation and/or agricultural practices as defined herein.
Farmers, as well as those employed or otherwise authorized to act on behalf of farmers, may lawfully engage in agricultural practices or an agricultural farm operation within the Town of New Lebanon at any and all such times and at all such locations as are reasonably necessary to carry on an agricultural farm operation or agricultural practice. 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 agricultural industry as well as to advances resulting from increased knowledge or improved technologies.
No agricultural practice or appurtenances thereto, conducted or maintained in a manner consistent with management practices such as those recommended by state and federal agencies within the educational aspects of farmers and agricultural practices, herein and hereafter referred to as "accepted customs and standards," shall be or become either a public or private nuisance.
No person, group, entity, association, partnership or corporation shall engage in any conduct or act in any manner so as to unreasonably, intentionally, knowingly and/or deliberately interfere with, prevent, or in any way deter the practice of farming within the Town of New Lebanon.
Noncompliance with any provision of this article shall not affect title to real property nor prevent the recording of any document. Violation of any provision of this article may constitute an offense punishable by law with a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $250 for each day's violation or continuation of the violation.
In addition, an action to restrain or enjoin any violation of this article may be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction by an aggrieved entity and/or the Town of New Lebanon.
Agriculture data statement. The Town of New Lebanon will encourage and support the requirement for agriculture data statements as prescribed in New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 25-AA, § 305-a.
Agricultural disclosure for new residential development.
For the purpose of giving due notice of nearby farming uses to proposed new residential areas adjacent to the unimproved land then being farmed or suitable therefor, the Planning Board shall require any applicant for an adjacent major or minor subdivision, as a condition of approval of such application, to include a provision in each and every deed conveying all or any portion of the lands thereby subdivided, as well as on filed final subdivision maps, the following record notice to and waiver by grantees of such present or future proximate farming uses, which provision shall be made to run with the land:
The following notice shall be included in certificates of occupancy and on plats of subdivisions submitted for approval pursuant to Town Law § 276:
The risk of any impact of these agricultural uses on the purchase of property is specifically to be borne by the purchaser of that property.