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Right To Farm

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They ruled this week that it applies to small/hobby farms located in residential zones.


This shuts down most small size hobby or sustainability farms.


The committee affirmed this week basically that if you want to farm then you need to be in agricultural zoned property.


The law changed in 2014 however the panel just ruled what it means this week apparently.


Here in my neighborhood we have a fairly common size residential lots...

my neighbors two streets over had chickens and I swear I am all to glad this rule means they have to go..for all the noise they make in the early hours...


that being said...


a person should have the right to raise their own food how they see fit....however don't expect to do it in a residential neighborhood...go get some acreage in agricultural or forestry zoned areas.


The right to farm act was passed in he 80s to stop the problem of people buying properties near agricultural areas and then complaining their rights of ownership were being infringed about the nuisance factors a farm brings and thereby stop farmers from farming...it was never meant to allow people to farm in residential zoned areas.

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The ruling will allow local governments to arbitrarily ban goats, chickens and beehives on any property where there are 13 homes within one eighth mile or a residence within 250 feet of the property, according to Michigan Public Radio.





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Q: Do the 2014 changes to the Livestock Siting GAAMP made by the Commission impact people raising food for themselves?

A: No. The Right to Farm Act has always applied and continues to apply to farms which are defined by the Act as the land, plants, animals, buildings, structures, including ponds used for agricultural or aquacultural activities, machinery, equipment, and other appurtenances used in the commercial production of farm products (MCL 286.472(a)). However, local communities can decide to allow farm animals under these circumstances. In fact, at least 40 municipalities have ordinances that allow residents to keep backyard poultry and many townships allow for agricultural activity in residential areas.




As I said,.. commercial.


Municipalities control residential noncommercial.


Get involved in your local politics and make these decisions for yourselves.


My town banned poultry just 8 years ago due to people abusing the privilege.  On 80x120 lots in town, is it neighborly to have 50 chickens? 50 dogs? 50 cats?


Get elected to your city council and make the choice yourself.

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This is where Common law comes into play.  How much can you, in the eyes of your neighbours, negatively effect their quality of life and enjoyment of their own property.




Must I smell your pigs shite when I am sitting on my own deck and trying to eat dinner?


In an agricultural area? Yes, most likely.  In a residential area? depends on the area, but likely not.

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Q: Can local units of government allow farm animals in areas that are not suitable for livestock under the Site

Selection GAAMP?

A: Yes. A local unit of government can decide to allow farm animals in those areas that are not suitable for livestock under the Site Selection GAAMP. MDARD supports the expansion of agriculture, whether for personal consumption or for local sale/distribution, as it provides an opportunity for people to be closer to local food sources. The department supports the expansion of urban agriculture and livestock production across the state but has consistently said the expansion of agriculture into urban and suburban settings must be done in a way that makes sense for all community residents, as well as the overall care of farm animals and livestock.


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Q: Does the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development enforce the Right to Farm Act?

A: No. The GAAMPs are a voluntary set of standards which help provide guidelines for using the Right to Farm Act as an affirmative defense in court. Conformance with the GAAMPs is a voluntary action. MDARD has no enforcement authority under the Act. Nuisance protection under the Right to Farm Act is, continues to be, and always has been something that's determined by a judge - not the Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development or MDARD. This

has not changed.


Q: Does Right to Farm give me the right to farm my land?

No. The Right to Farm Act provides an affirmative defense to nuisance lawsuits. Although the law is called "Right to Farm," it technically does not give the landowner an entitlement or a "right" to conduct commercial farming on any or all property.

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