Section 305-a of the Agricultural Districts Law protects farmers against local laws which unreasonably restrict farm operations located within an agricultural district. Department staff review both existing and proposed laws to determine if they are compatible with farm operations. In cases where a local law is determined to be unreasonable, staff work with the local government concerned to develop mutually acceptable modifications. If a local government is unwilling to modify a restrictive law, the Department is authorized to take action to compel compliance with the Agricultural Districts Law. The New York State Court of Appeals has consistently ruled that these orders are entitled to administrative deference in the interpretation and administration of this important right to farm protection.
Applications and Requests for Review
Requests for review of local laws must be provided to the Department in writing and include a completed Section 305-a Review Form. Start-up farm operations must also complete and submit an additional questionnaire.
Procedure and Definitions
The documents below give guidance on procedures and definitions under the Agriculture and Markets law.
Review Guidelines by Subject Matter
This document applies to land application of animal waste, recognizable and non-recognizable food waste, sewage sludge and septage, and animal waste storage/management.
Read the Orders issued pursuant to 305-a.