Borough of West Cape May, NJ
Cape May County
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[Ord. No. 178-91 Preamble]
The Board of Commissioners recognizes the benefits to society, the community and its neighborhoods from horticulture, commercial and home agriculture, and animal husbandry (hereafter "farming") by the preservation of open space and aesthetics of the rural countryside and the supplying of present and future generations with the bounties resulting from such activities.
The Board of Commissioners has determined that such horticultural, agricultural and animal husbandry uses are necessary to humankind, and that the right to carry on such pursuits should be protected for the benefit of the residents of West Cape May.
The Board of Commissioners finds and determines that farmers must be secure in their ability to earn a livelihood and to utilize acceptable, necessary and recognized farming procedures and techniques.
The Board of Commissioners finds and determines that the right to farm all land is a natural right and is also hereby ordained to exist as a permitted use everywhere in West Cape May, regardless of zoning designations and regardless of whether specified as permitted uses therein.
It is the intent of this section to define and prescribe acceptable, necessary and recognized farming practices herein encouraged, established and preserved.
[Ord. No. 178-91 § 1]
In accordance with the purpose and preambles set forth herein, the following farming activities shall be deemed established as acceptable, recognized and entitled to encouragement and protection as the collective embodiment of the "Right to Farm," subject in all cases, however, to any supervening applicable Federal, State or County laws or regulations respecting the public health, safety or otherwise:
a. 
Produce agricultural and horticultural crops, trees and forest products, livestock, poultry and other related commodities;
b. 
Process and package the agricultural output of the commercial farm;
c. 
Provide for the wholesale and retail marketing, including "U-Pick" marketing and sales, of the agricultural output of the commercial farm, and related products that contribute to farm income, including the construction of building and parking areas in conformance with applicable municipal standards;
d. 
Replenish soil nutrients, including, but not limited to, the spreading of manure and applying chemical and organic fertilizers;
e. 
Use Federally approved products, in accordance with labeled instructions, as recommended by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the control of pests, predators, varmints, disease affecting plants and live-stock, and for the control of weed infestation;
f. 
Clear woodlands using permitted open burning and other accepted techniques and install and maintain vegetative and terrain alternations and other physical facilities for water and soil conservation and surface water control in wetlands areas in accordance with approved soil and water conservation management plans;
g. 
Use irrigation pumps and equipment and undertake aerial and ground seeding and spraying, using air-planes, tractors and other necessary equipment;
h. 
Hire and utilize necessary farm labor;
i. 
Construct fences;
j. 
Transport large, slow moving equipment over roads within the Borough;
k. 
Conduct farming activities on holidays and Sundays as well as weekdays, in the evening and during the day, notwithstanding the production thereby of normal but unavoidable noise, dust, odors and fumes caused by such necessary activities when conducted in accordance with recognized agricultural practices.
[Ord. No. 178-91 § 2]
For the purpose of giving due notice of nearby farming uses to proposed new residential areas adjacent to land then being commercially farmed or suitable therefor, the Planning Board shall require an applicant for an adjacent major or minor subdivision as a condition of approval of such application, to include a provision in each and every contract for and deed conveying all or any portion of the lands thereby subdivided, as well as on filed final subdivision maps, the following record notice to and waiver by grantees of such present or future proximate farming uses, which such provision shall be made to run with the land:
Grantee hereby acknowledges notice that there are presently or may in the future be farm uses adjacent to or in close proximity to the above described premises. Grantee further acknowledges that the Borough, in its adopted "Right to Farm" chapter, has deemed established as acceptable, recognized, and entitled to encouragement and protection, farm activities which may result in the emanation of noise, odors, dust and fumes caused by such necessary activities when conducted in accordance with recognized agricultural practices. Such activities include, but are not limited to, the production and processing of agricultural and horticultural crops and livestock, aerial and ground spraying, the spreading of manure and chemical and organic fertilizers, and the wholesale and retail marketing of agricultural and related products. Grantee further acknowledges that such activities may occur on holidays, weekends and at all times of the day, including early morning, evening and nighttime hours. By acceptance of this conveyance, Grantee does hereby waive objection to such activities.
[Ord. No. 178-91 § 3; Ord. No. 397-07 § 2]
For the purposes of interpretation of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
a. 
FARM - A minimum of five acres of land of single or multiple contiguous or noncontiguous parcels which is actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use, including, but not limited to, cropland, pasture, idle or fallow land, woodland, wetlands, farm ponds, farm roads and certain farm buildings and other enclosures related to agricultural pursuits.
b. 
COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE - The production, principally for sale to others, of plants and animals or their products, including but not limited to, forage and sod crops; grain and feed crops; dairy animals and dairy products; livestock including beef cattle, poultry, sheep, seine, horses, ponies, mules, goats and fur-bearing animals; the breeding and grazing of such animals; bees and apiary products; fish and aquaculture products; fruits of all kinds, including grapes, nuts and berries; and vegetables, nursery, floral, ornamental and greenhouse products.
c. 
HOME AGRICULTURE - The production principally for home use or consumption, of plants, animals or their products and for sale to others where such sales are incidental, including, but not limited to, gardening, fruit production, and poultry and livestock products for household use only, and livestock boarding and breeding.
[Ord. No. 397-07 § 3]
See Chapter 27 for zoning requirements applicable to farms.