[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of North Collins 6-1-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board recognizes that farming is an essential enterprise and an important industry which enhances the economic base, natural environment and quality of life in North Collins. Therefore, the Town Board of North Collins finds and declares that this Town encourages its agriculture and urges understanding of and cooperation with the necessary day-to-day operations involved in farming.
It is the general purpose and intent of this chapter to maintain and preserve the rural traditions and character of the Town, to permit the continuation of agricultural practices, to protect the existence and operation of farms, to encourage the initiation and expansion of farms and agribusinesses, and to promote new ways to resolve disputes concerning agricultural practices and farm operations. In order to maintain a viable farming economy in North Collins, it is necessary to limit the circumstances under which farming may be deemed to be a nuisance and to allow agricultural practices inherent to and necessary for the business of farming to proceed and be undertaken free of unreasonable and unwarranted interference or restriction.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
- Those practices necessary for the on-farm production, preparation and marketing of agricultural commodities. Examples of such practices include, but are not limited to, operation of farm equipment, proper use of agricultural chemicals and other crop-protection methods, manure application and construction and use of farm structures and fences.
- AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
- Those products as defined in § 301, Subdivision 2, of Article 25-AA of the State Agriculture and Markets Law, including but not limited to:
- A. Field crops, including corn, wheat, rye, barley, hay, potatoes and dry beans.
- B. Fruits, including apples, peaches, grapes, cherries and berries.
- C. Vegetables, including tomatoes, snap beans, 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, farmed deer, farmed buffalo, fur-bearing animals, milk, eggs, and furs.
- F. Woodland products, including maple sap, logs, lumber, posts and firewood.
- G. Christmas trees derived from a managed Christmas tree operation whether dug for transplanting or cut from the stump.
- H. Aquaculture products, including fish, fish products, water plants and shellfish.
- I. Woody biomass, which means short rotation woody crops raised for bioenergy and shall not include farm woodland.
- Any person, organization, entity, association, partnership; limited liability company, or corporation engaged in the business of agriculture, whether for profit or otherwise, including the cultivation of land, the raising of crops, or the raising of livestock.
- Land used in agricultural production, as defined in § 301, Subdivision 4, of Article 25-AA of the State Agriculture and Markets Law.
- FARM OPERATION
- Shall be defined in § 301, Subdivision 11, of Article 25-AA of the State Agriculture and Markets Law.
- FARM WOODLAND
- Includes land used for production and sale of woodland products, including but not limited to logs, lumber, posts and firewood.
Farmers, as well as those employed, retained, or otherwise authorized to act on behalf of farmers, may lawfully engage in agricultural practices within this Town at all such times and all such locations as are reasonably necessary to conduct the business of agriculture. For any agricultural practice, in determining the reasonableness of the time, place, and methodology of such practice, due weight and consideration shall be given to both traditional customs and procedures in the farming industry, as well as to advances resulting from increased knowledge and improved technologies.
Agricultural practices conducted on farmland shall not be found to be public or private nuisance if such agricultural practices are:
Reasonable and necessary to the particular farm or farm operation;
Conducted in a manner which is not negligent or reckless;
Conducted in conformity with generally accepted and sound agricultural practices;
Conducted in conformity with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations;
Conducted in a manner which does not constitute a threat to public health and safety or cause injury to the health or safety of any person; and
Conducted in a manner which does not unreasonably obstruct the free passage or use of navigable waters or public roadways.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an aggrieved party from recovering from damages for bodily injury or wrongful death due to a failure to follow sound agricultural practices, as outlined in this section.
All farmers shall be required to comply with sound agricultural practices as established by the laws of the State of New York and any rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets and/or the State of New York.
In order to promote harmony between farmers and their neighbors, the Town requires landholders and/or their agents and assigns to comply with § 310 of Article 25-AA of the State Agriculture and Markets Law and provide notice to prospective purchasers and occupants as follows: "It is the policy of this State and this Community to conserve, protect and encourage the development and improvement of agricultural land for the production of food and other products and also for its natural and ecological value. This notice is to inform prospective residents that farming activities occur within the Town. Such farming activities may include, but not be limited to, activities that cause noise, dust, smoke and odors."
A copy of this notice shall be included as an addendum to the purchase and sale contract at the time an offer to purchase is made.