[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Barrington 6-4-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-3. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to foster communication between the Town of Barrington and local farmers on actions that have a direct and significant impact on agricultural operations as mandated by R.I.G.L. § 2-23.1-1 et seq.
Notification shall be given to farmers on the list established by the Division of Agriculture at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management as provided for in R.I.G.L. § 2-23.1-3.
Matters subject to notification shall include the following actions:
Change in the zoning and/or permitted uses of land used for farming;
Designation of or amendment to the designation of land used for farming in comprehensive plans or land use ordinances;
Change in the manner of taxation of real and personal property used for farming;
Establishment or amendment of programs for the transfer of development rights affecting farming and hours of operation of machinery and equipment used in farming;
Regulation of water use for farming purposes; and
Control of noise and hours of operation of machinery and equipment used in farming.
Notice under this chapter shall be in addition to any other notice required under Rhode Island law or local ordinance.
The Town Clerk is herein designated the official responsible for providing notification to farmers on all matters.
Notification shall be provided not later than seven business days after a matter subject to notification is formally proposed for study or consideration by a public body in which the matter originates. Written notification of the matter shall be mailed to all farmers on the list established by the Division of Agriculture.
The written notification shall, as a minimum, state the matter subject to notification, the public body of the Town which will be studying or considering the matter, and provide the name of the Town official whom one or more of said farmers may contact to request additional information about the matter or to request a work session as provided below.
Any farmer who receives a notification as provided herein may request in writing, within 10 business days after such notification, a work session to review the impact on farming of the matter subject to notification. The request shall be made to the official designated on the notification to receive such requests. Not more than one work session shall be required by the provisions of this chapter.
Within 20 business days after the receipt of such a request, said official shall notify in writing all farmers on the notification list of the request, providing the location, time and date of a work session on the matter, which shall be not sooner than seven business days after the date of the notice of the work session.
The purpose of the work session shall be to review and consider the effects on farming of the matter subject to notification. The work session shall be open to the public and shall be prior to any final action on the matter subject to notification by the public body, and the findings and conclusions of the work session shall be reported to the public body.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to impair, limit, or restrict the power of a public body of Town to take emergency actions of a temporary duration that are necessary to protect public health, safety, or welfare.
Except in instances of knowing and willful noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter, a failure to comply strictly with any of the requirements of this chapter shall not be deemed to affect or impair the validity of any action otherwise duly taken by a public body.