Agriculture & Markets - Agricultural Districts - Right to farm


Published: 2014-09-22

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§ 308. Right to farm. 1. a. The commissioner shall, in consultation
with the state advisory council on agriculture, issue opinions upon
request from any person as to whether particular agricultural practices
are sound.

b. Sound agricultural practices refer to those practices necessary for
the on-farm production, preparation and marketing of agricultural
commodities. Examples of activities which entail practices the
commissioner may consider include, but are not limited to, operation of
farm equipment; proper use of agricultural chemicals and other crop
protection methods; direct sale to consumers of agricultural commodities
or foods containing agricultural commodities produced on-farm;
agricultural tourism; "timber operation," as defined in subdivision
fourteen of section three hundred one of this article and construction
and use of farm structures. The commissioner shall consult appropriate
state agencies and any guidelines recommended by the advisory council on
agriculture. The commissioner may consult as appropriate, the New York
state college of agriculture and life sciences and the U.S.D.A. natural
resources conservation service, and provide such information, after the
issuance of a formal opinion, to the municipality in which the
agricultural practice being evaluated is located. The commissioner shall
also consider whether the agricultural practices are conducted by a farm
owner or operator as part of his or her participation in the AEM program
as set forth in article eleven-A of this chapter. Such practices shall
be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

2. Upon the issuance of an opinion pursuant to this section, the
commissioner shall publish a notice in a newspaper having a general
circulation in the area surrounding the practice and notice shall be
given in writing to the owner of the property on which the practice is
conducted and any adjoining property owners. The opinion of the
commissioner shall be final, unless within thirty days after publication
of the notice a person affected thereby institutes a proceeding to
review the opinion in the manner provided by article seventy-eight of
the civil practice law and rules.

3. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, on any land in an
agricultural district created pursuant to section three hundred three or
land used in agricultural production subject to an agricultural
assessment pursuant to section three hundred six of this article, an
agricultural practice shall not constitute a private nuisance, when an
action is brought by a person, provided such agricultural practice
constitutes a sound agricultural practice pursuant to an opinion issued
upon request by the commissioner. Nothing in this section shall be
construed to prohibit an aggrieved party from recovering damages for
personal injury or wrongful death.

4. The commissioner, in consultation with the state advisory council
on agriculture, shall issue an opinion within thirty days upon request
from any person as to whether particular land uses are agricultural in
nature. Such land use decisions shall be evaluated on a case-by-case
basis.

5. The commissioner shall develop and make available to prospective
grantors and purchasers of real property located partially or wholly
within any agricultural district in this state and to the general
public, practical information related to the right to farm as set forth
in this article including, but not limited to right to farm disclosure
requirements established pursuant to section three hundred ten of this
article and section three hundred thirty-three-c of the real property
law.