[Added 5-27-1997 by L.L. No. 11-1997]
The Town Board of the Town of Southold finds that farming is an essential activity within the Town of Southold. Farmers provide fresh food, clean air, economic diversity and aesthetic open spaces to all the citizens of our Town. In addition, land in agricultural uses requires less tax dollars for services than does land with residential or commercial development. Accordingly, farmers shall have the right to farm in Southold without undue interference from adjacent landowners or users. For the purpose of reducing future conflicts between people residing on tracts adjacent to farmlands and farmers, it is necessary to establish and give notice of the nature of the farming activities to future neighbors of farmland and farming activities.
Agricultural activities conducted on farmland, undertaken in compliance with applicable federal, state, county and Town laws, rules and regulations, are presumed to be good agricultural practices and presumed not to adversely affect the public health safety and welfare. We find that whatever nuisance may be caused to others by such uses and activities, so conducted, is more than offset by the benefits from farming to the community. Therefore, all such activities shall be protected farm practices within the Town of Southold.
When used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CROPS, LIVESTOCK AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS
- Include but are not limited to the following:
- A. Field crops, including corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, hay, potatoes and dry beans.
- B. Fruits, including apples, peaches, grapes, cherries and berries.
- C. Vegetables, including tomatoes, snap beans, cauliflower, pumpkins, cabbage, carrots, beets and onions.
- D. Horticultural specialties, including nursery stock, ornamental shrubs, ornamental trees and flowers.
- E. Livestock and livestock products, including cattle, sheep, hogs, goats, horses, poultry, fur bearing animals, milk, eggs and furs.
- F. Maple syrup.
- G. Christmas trees derived from a managed Christmas tree operation whether dug for transplanting or cut from the stump.
- H. Farm woodland, meaning land used for the production for sale of woodland products, including but not limited to logs, lumber, posts and firewood.
- I. Horse boarding operations.
- J. Bees/honey.
Farmers shall have the right to undertake protected farm practices in the active pursuit of agricultural operations, including, but not limited to: clearing; grading; plowing; aerial and ground spraying; the use of legal agricultural chemicals (including herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers); raising horses, poultry, small livestock and cattle; processing and marketing produce; installing water and soil conservation facilities; utilizing farm crop protection devices; designing and constructing and using farm structures, including barns, stables, paddocks, fences, greenhouses and pump houses; using water; pumping; spraying; pruning and harvesting; disposing of organic wastes on the farm; extensive use of farm laborers; training and others in the use and care of farm equipment, animals; traveling local roads in properly marked vehicles; and providing local farm produce markets near farming areas.
These activities can and do generate dust, smoke, noise, vibration and odor. These activities may occur on holidays, Sundays and weekends, at night and in the day. Such activities are presumed to be reasonable. Such activities do not constitute a nuisance unless the activity has a substantial adverse effect on the public health, safety and welfare.
The Town Planning Board, the Town Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals shall require, as part of any approval of any development immediately adjacent to or within 500 feet of any parcel of at least five acres in size, which, at the time of such approval, is in active agricultural use, that a notice of protected farm practices be given to all purchasers of such developed property.
The notice of protected farm practices shall be included in permanent covenants and restrictions which shall run with the land on each parcel when such parcel is subdivided or developed.
If, in any development, it is the intent to make the common or green space available for agriculture, the notice of protected farm practices shall be included in permanent covenants and restrictions.
All persons dealing in real estate in the Town of Southold as brokers, representatives or agents of the owners, of any parcel of land adjacent to any parcel of land of at least five acres in size currently in agricultural use shall provide to every purchaser or such parcel an original and one copy of the notice of protected farm practices at the time of a potential purchaser's consideration and inspection of the parcel. The person dealing in real estate shall have such purchaser sign and date the duplicate copy of the notice. The notice of protected farm practices form shall be available to all persons required to provide such notices free of charge from the Town Clerk's office.
Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter shall constitute a violation.
If any part or provision of this article or the application thereof to any person, entity or circumstances shall be adjudged invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall be confined in its operation and enforcement to the part of or such provision of or application directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered and shall not affect or impair the validity of the remainder of this article or the application thereof to other persons, entities or circumstances.