Full Ordinance Name:  Oxford, CT Code of Ordinances. TITLE IX: GENERAL REGULATIONS. CHAPTER 92: RIGHT TO FARM (§§ 92.01 - 92.06); TITLE I: GENERAL PROVISIONS. CHAPTER 10: GENERAL PROVISIONS (§ 10.99)

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Primary Citation:  Code of Oxford §§ 92.01 - 92.06 Date Adopted:  2009 Jurisdiction Level:  Connecticut Last Checked:  September, 2013
Summary:

According to Oxford, Connecticut's Right to Farm ordinances, quoting Conn. Gen. Stat. § 19a-341, an agricultural or farming operation shall not be deemed a public or private nuisance due to odor emanating from livestock or manure, or due to water pollution caused by livestock. Under these ordinances, a landowner or agent who fails to disclose that a buyer or tenant is about to acquire or occupy property in a town where farming activities occur shall be fined $100. These ordinances also contain exceptions to the nuisance provision, as well as provide a resolution process for any person who seeks to complain about a farm’s operations.  

92.01    Legislative purpose and intent

92.02    Definitions

92.03    Right to farm declaration

92.04    Disclosure notification

92.05    Resolution of disputes

92.06    Codification
 
92.99    Penalty

10.99   General Penalty.

§ 92.01  LEGISLATIVE PURPOSE AND INTENT.

(A)   The purpose and intent of this chapter is to state with emphasis the right to farm , which reads as follows:

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 19a-341.  Agricultural or farming operation not deemed a nuisance; exceptions. Spring or well water collection operation not deemed a nuisance.

(a)   Notwithstanding any general statute or municipal ordinance or regulation pertaining to nuisances to the contrary, no agricultural 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, fertilizer or feed, (2) noise from livestock or farm equipment used in normal, generally acceptable farming procedures, (3) dust created during plowing or cultivation operations, (4) use of chemicals, provided such chemicals and the method of their application conform to practices approved by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection or, where applicable, the 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 such activities conform to acceptable management practices for pollution control approved by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection; provided 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 Commissioner of Agriculture or his designee shall be prima facie evidence that such operation follows generally accepted agricultural practices.

(b)   Notwithstanding any general statute or municipal ordinance or regulation pertaining to nuisances, no operation to collect spring water or well water, as defined in § 2la-150, shall be deemed to constitute a nuisance, either public or private, due to alleged objectionable noise from equipment used in such operation provided the operation (1) conforms to generally accepted practices for the collection of spring water or well water, (2) has received all approvals or permits required by law, and (3) complies with the local zoning authority’s time, place and manner restrictions on operations to collect spring water or well water.

(c)   The provisions of this section shall not apply whenever a nuisance results from negligence or willful or reckless misconduct in the operation of any such agricultural or farming operation, place, establishment or facility, or any of its appurtenances. This right shall be accorded to all citizens of the State under § 19a-341 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and all state statutes and regulations there under, specifically outlined in, but not restricted to, the Definition of Agriculture, Connecticut General Statute § 1-lq which states:

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-1.  Except as otherwise specifically defined, the words “agriculture” and “farming ” shall include cultivation of the soil, dairying, forestry, raising or harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity, including the raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training and management of livestock, including horses, bees, poultry, fur-bearing animals and wildlife, and the raising or harvesting of oysters, clams, mussels, other molluscan shellfish or fish; the operation, management, conservation, improvement or maintenance of a farm and its buildings, tools and equipment, or salvaging timber or cleared land of brush or other debris left by a storm, as an incident to such farming operations; the production or harvesting of maple syrup or maple sugar, or any agricultural commodity, including lumber, as an incident to ordinary farming operations or the harvesting of mushrooms, the hatching of poultry, or the construction, operation or maintenance of ditches, canals, reservoirs or waterways used exclusively for farming purposes; handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing or delivering to storage or to market, or to a carrier for transportation to market, or for direct sale any agricultural or horticultural commodity as an incident to ordinary farming operations, or, in the case of fruits and vegetables, as an incident to the preparation of such fruits or vegetables for market or for direct sale. The term “farm ” includes farm buildings, and accessory buildings thereto, nurseries, orchards, ranges, greenhouses, hoophouses and other temporary structures or other structures used primarily for the raising and, as an incident to ordinary farming operations, the sale of agricultural or horticultural commodities. The term “aquaculture” means the farming of the waters of the state and tidal wetlands and the production of protein food, including fish, oysters, clams, mussels and other molluscan shellfish, on leased, franchised and public underwater farm lands. Nothing herein shall restrict the power of a local zoning authority under Chapter 124.

(B)   This chapter encourages the pursuit of agriculture, whether commercial or noncommercial, promotes agriculture-based economic opportunities and protects farmland within the town by allowing agricultural uses and related activities to function with minimal conflict with abutters and town agencies. Its intent is to promote a good neighbor policy between agriculturalists and residents by advising purchasers and residents of property adjacent to or near existing and future agricultural operations of the inherent potential activities associated with the purchase or residence including, but not limited to, the sounds, odors, dust and chemicals that may accompany agricultural activates, so that purchasers and residents will understand and be prepared to accept aforementioned occurrences. In addition, this chapter shall be effective regardless of whether disclosure was made.

(Ord. passed 11-9-2009)

§ 92.02  DEFINITIONS.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

AGRICULTURE or FARMING .  Shall be defined as written in Conn. Gen. Stat. Chapter 1, § 1-1q and §§ 22-1 et seq.

(Ord. passed 11-9-2009)

§ 92.03  RIGHT TO FARM DECLARATION.

The right to farm is hereby recognized to exist within the state under Conn. Gen. Stat. Chapter 368m, § 19a-341.

(Ord. passed 11-9-2009)

§ 92.04  DISCLOSURE NOTIFICATION.

(A)   Not later than 21 days after the purchase and sale contract is entered into, or prior to the sale or exchange of real property if no purchase and sale agreement exists for the purchase or exchange of real property, or prior to the acquisition of a leasehold interest or other possessory interest in real property, located in the town, the landowner or agent shall present the buyer or occupant with a disclosure notification which states the following:

It is the policy of this community to conserve, protect and encourage the maintenance and improvement of agricultural land for the production of food and livestock, the keeping of equine, the fostering of other agricultural activities, and also for its natural, ecological, educational, recreational, quality of life and economic value. This disclosure notification is to inform buyers or occupants that the property they are about to acquire or occupy lies within the town where farming activities occur. Such farming activities may include, but are not limited to, activities that cause noise, dust and odors. Buyers or occupants are also informed that the location of property within the town may be impacted by commercial and noncommercial agricultural operations including, but not limited to, the ability to access water services for the property.

(B)   A copy of the disclosure notification shall be given on a form prepared by the town and approved by the Town Horse and Livestock Association and shall be signed by the landowner prior to the sale, purchase, exchange or occupancy of real property. A copy of the disclosure notification must be filed with the Board of Selectmen or its designee, such as the Town Clerk, prior to the sale, purchase, exchange or occupancy of real property. In addition to the above, a copy of this disclosure notification shall be published to landowners by the town each fiscal year via publication in a local newspaper.

(Ord. passed 11-9-2009)  Penalty, see § 92.99

§ 92.05  RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES.

Any person who seeks to complain about the operation of a farm shall first seek a remedy from a town designated agricultural agent. If a remedy is not found then the person can file a grievance with the Department of Agriculture depending upon the nature of the grievance. The filing of the grievance does not suspend the time within which to pursue any other available remedies that the aggrieved may have. Depending on the circumstances of the grievance, the Department of Agriculture or Department of Health shall review and facilitate the resolution of the grievance, and report its recommendations to the referring town authority within an agreed upon time frame. The Board of Health, except in cases of imminent danger or public health risk, may forward a copy of the grievance to the Department of Agriculture or its agent, which shall review and facilitate the resolution of the grievance.

(Ord. passed 11-9-2009)

§ 92.06  CODIFICATION.

In accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. Chapter 98, § 7-148(b), the town has the right to create a right to farm ordinance. The Town Clerk shall provide for the codification of this chapter, merging this ordinance with all amendments hereafter made. In preparing the codification of this chapter, the Town Clerk is directed to provide the proper numerical and alphabetical designation to each provision of the ordinance as deemed proper, it being the legislative intent that article numbers, section numbers and other similar designation are matters of codification purposes as deemed appropriate. The document that is the result of this codification shall be known as and may be hereafter referred to as the Right to Farm Ordinance for the town.

(Ord. passed 11-9-2009)

§ 92.99  PENALTY.

(A)   Any person violating any provision of this chapter, for which no other penalty is provided, shall be subject to the penalty provisions of § 10.99.

(B)   A violation of § 92.04 shall be subject to a fine of $100 and shall be enforced by the Board of Selectmen or its designee. The town is authorized to enforce § 92.04 under provisions outlined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-148(c)(10) under the Municipal Powers provision.

(Ord. passed 11-9-2009)

TITLE I: GENERAL PROVISIONS. CHAPTER 10: GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 10.99  General Penalty.

(A) Whenever in this code, or in any other ordinance, rule or regulation promulgated by any officer or agency of the town under authority vested in him, her or it by law or ordinance, any act is prohibited or declared to be unlawful, or the doing of any act is required, or the failure to do any act is declared to be unlawful, and no specific penalty, including a referral to community court, is provided therefor either by this code or state law, the violation of any provision of this code, or any other ordinance, rule or regulation shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100

(B) Each day any violation of this code or any ordinance, rule or regulation of the town continues shall constitute a separate offense.

Statutory reference:
Maximum statutory penalty for ordinance violations, see Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-148(c)(10)(A)

 

 

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