[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Upper Deerfield 11-5-2005 by Ord. No. 564. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township of Upper Deerfield hereby recognizes that the industry of farming is a natural right and that this industry and economic activity has been a primary source of income and economic activity within the Township of Upper Deerfield since preceding the founding of the Township and since the inception of New Jersey as a state and the United States as a union.
The right to farm exists and should be considered in the future as existing throughout the Township of Upper Deerfield except where specifically prohibited by the Zoning Ordinance stating otherwise.
The right to farm includes all manner and means of physical labor and mechanical equipment now available to engage in agriculture and farming, including but not limited to irrigation pumps, equipment, aerial and ground seeding, spraying, equipment including tractors and aviation equipment together with their attachments, and the use and application of recognized fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.
Farming methods shall include all recognized methods and types of farming as pertain to the growing of food and nonfood crops and the raising of animal or fowl within the Township of Upper Deerfield.
The right to farm shall include the uses, methods and activities that have been proven effective in the past or which are generally accepted within the farming community and the farming industry and which are considered reasonable and necessary in the farming and agricultural industry throughout New Jersey and the country as a whole and which are conducted in accordance with generally accepted agricultural practices.
The right to farm and acceptable practices hereinabove described may occur on holidays, weekdays and Sundays as well as at night and during normal working hours. Accordingly, the hours during which farming is reasonably expected to take place shall be considered as a right incident to farming.
It is also recognized by the Township of Upper Deerfield that certain odors, dust and fumes are incident to farming activities and that the creation of noise, odors, dust and fumes are considered to be incidental to and related to farming activities and shall be specifically permitted as a legitimate part of the right to farm.
The Township of Upper Deerfield recognizes that inconveniences to the public have been alleged and have been on occasion caused by certain nuisances with respect to noise and smells related to and incident to farming and agricultural activities. However, the Township of Upper Deerfield further recognizes that the right to farm and the benefits derived therefrom more than offset the benefits derived from preventing and restricting such activities and it is, therefore, recognized that inconvenience to the public or to nearby property owners who locate to a farming area should not, in and of themselves, constitute a reason to undermine or to prevent or restrict farming activities which are recognized as a right and a desirable goal within the Township of Upper Deerfield.
The Township of Upper Deerfield recognizes the agricultural and rural nature of Upper Deerfield and, among other things, the Township has attempted to preserve farmland and preserve the rural and agricultural character of the Township and its lands. The Township believes that this is a desirable goal to further and to protect within the Township of Upper Deerfield and that it is in the interests of the residents of the Township of Upper Deerfield now and into the future to have this right recognized, preserved and protected. It is further the policy of Upper Deerfield to demonstrate a strong commitment to the Township remaining as a rural agriculturally related community by committing future efforts of the Township to protect and preserve farmland and to protect and preserve the agricultural and rural way of life incidental to and a part of farming. The Township further recognizes that, as the population of the Township may increase, individuals who move to the Township should be informed of Township policies with respect to farming and that, in order to protect the heritage of farming within the Township, certain noises, smells or inconveniences may from time to time be caused. However, these inconveniences are deemed minor and insufficient to discontinue the objective of farming or to restrict farming activities and that it would be deleterious to the interests of the Township and its residents to implement measures to erode and undermine farming and farming-related activities as part of the policy of the Township of Upper Deerfield. Accordingly, the Township desires to make the provisions of this chapter available to any new residents who seek to build within the Township of Upper Deerfield and requests and directs that a copy of this chapter be provided by the Upper Deerfield Township Tax Assessor to all persons or entities upon the filing of a deed of transfer of property (who obtain building permits) and requests and directs that builders, real estate agents, and others make this policy known and disseminate it to their clients, customers and prospective residents of the Township of Upper Deerfield in order that they may be informed of the Township policy with respect to the right to farm and the right to engage in activities related to farming throughout the Township.