University of Vermont AAHS

Utah Agricultural Protection Act

UTAH CODE
TITLE 17. COUNTIES
CHAPTER 41. AGRICULTURE PROTECTION AREA
PART 4. PROTECTION OF LAND IN AN AGRICULTURE PROTECTION AREA

 

17-41-401 Farmland Assessment Act benefits not affected.

(1) Creation of an agriculture protection area shall not impair the ability of land within the area to obtain the benefits of Title 59, Chapter 2, Part 5, Farmland Assessment Act.

(2) The eligibility of land for the benefits of Title 59, Chapter 2, Part 5, Farmland Assessment Act, shall be determined exclusively by the provisions of that act, notwithstanding the land's location within an agriculture protection area.

 

17-41-402 Limitations on local regulations.

(1) Each political subdivision within which an agriculture protection area is created shall encourage the continuity, development, and viability of agriculture within the area by not enacting local laws, ordinances, or regulations that would unreasonably restrict farm structures or farm practices within the area unless those laws, ordinances, or regulations bear a direct relationship to public health or safety.

(2) A political subdivision may not change the zoning designation of or zoning regulations affecting land within an agriculture protection area unless it receives written approval for the change from all the landowners within the agriculture protection area affected by the change.

 

17-41-403 Nuisances.

(1) Each political subdivision shall ensure that any of its laws or ordinances that define or prohibit a public nuisance exclude from the definition or prohibition any agricultural activity or operation within an agriculture protection area conducted using sound agricultural practices unless that activity or operation bears a direct relationship to public health or safety.

(2) In a civil action for nuisance or a criminal action for public nuisance under Section 76-10-803, it is a complete defense if the action involves agricultural activities and those agricultural activities were:
(a) conducted within an agriculture protection area; and
(b) not in violation of any federal, state, or local law or regulation relating to the alleged nuisance or were conducted according to sound agricultural practices.

(3) For any new subdivision development located in whole or in part within 300 feet of the boundary of an agriculture protection area, the owner of the development shall provide notice on any plat filed with the county recorder the following notice:

"Agriculture Protection Area

This property is located in the vicinity of an established agriculture protection area in which normal agricultural uses and activities have been afforded the highest priority use status. It can be anticipated that such agricultural uses and activities may now or in the future be conducted on property included in the agriculture protection area. The use and enjoyment of this property is expressly conditioned on acceptance of any annoyance or inconvenience which may result from such normal agricultural uses and activities."

17-41-404 Policy of state agencies.

Each state agency shall encourage the continuity, development, and viability of agriculture within agriculture protection areas by:

(1) not enacting rules that would impose unreasonable restrictions on farm structures or farm practices within the area unless those laws, ordinances, or regulations bear a direct relationship to public health or safety or are required by federal law; and

(2) modifying existing rules that would impose unreasonable restrictions on farm structures or farm practices within the area unless those laws, ordinances, or regulations bear a direct relationship to public health or safety or are required by federal law.



17-41-405 Eminent domain restrictions.

(1) A political subdivision having or exercising eminent domain powers may not condemn for any purpose any land within an agriculture protection area that is being used for agricultural production unless it has obtained approval, according to the procedures and requirements of this section, from the applicable legislative body and the advisory board.

(2) Any condemnor wishing to condemn property within an agriculture protection area shall file a notice of condemnation with the applicable legislative body and the agriculture protection area's advisory board at least 30 days before filing an eminent domain complaint.


(3) The applicable legislative body and the advisory board shall:
(a) hold a joint public hearing on the proposed condemnation at a location within the county in which the agriculture protection area is located;
(b) publish notice of the time, date, place, and purpose of the public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the agriculture protection area; and
(c) post notice of the time, date, place, and purpose of the public hearing in five conspicuous public places, designated by the applicable legislative body, within or near the agriculture protection area.

(4) (a) If the condemnation is for highway purposes or for the disposal of solid or liquid waste materials, the applicable legislative body and the advisory board may approve the condemnation only if there is no reasonable and prudent alternative to the use of the land within the agriculture protection area for the project.
(b) If the condemnation is for any other purpose, the applicable legislative body and the advisory board may approve the condemnation only if:
(i) the proposed condemnation would not have an unreasonably adverse effect upon the preservation and enhancement of agriculture within the agriculture protection area; or
(ii) there is no reasonable and prudent alternative to the use of the land within the agriculture protection area for the project.

(5) (a) Within 60 days of receipt of the notice of condemnation, the applicable legislative body and the advisory board shall approve or reject the proposed condemnation.
(b) If the applicable legislative body and the advisory board fail to act within the 60 days or such further time as the applicable legislative body establishes, the condemnation shall be considered rejected.

(6) The applicable legislative body or the advisory board may request the county or municipal attorney to bring an action to enjoin any condemnor from violating any provisions of this section.

17-41-406 Restrictions on state development projects.

(1) Each state agency that plans any development project that might affect land within an agriculture protection area shall submit its development plan to the commissioner of agriculture and food and the agriculture protection area's advisory board for their review.

(2) The commissioner of agriculture and food and the agriculture protection area's advisory board shall:

(a) review the state agency's proposed development plan; and

(b) recommend any modifications to the development project that would protect the integrity of the agriculture protection area or that would protect the agriculture protection area from nonfarm encroachment.

 

TITLE 78. JUDICIAL CODE
PART IV. Particular Proceedings
CHAPTER 38. NUISANCE, WASTE, AND OTHER DAMAGE

 

78-38-7 Agricultural operations -- Nuisance liability.

(1) Agricultural operations that are consistent with sound agricultural practices are presumed to be reasonable and do not constitute a nuisance unless the agricultural operation has a substantial adverse effect on the public health and safety.

(2) Agricultural operations undertaken in conformity with federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including zoning ordinances, are presumed to be operating within sound agricultural practices.

 

78-38-8 "Agricultural operation" defined.

As used in this act, "agricultural operation" means any facility for the production for commercial purposes of crops, livestock, poultry, livestock products, or poultry products.

 

Enacted in 1953, amended in 1994, 1997, 1998, 2002.
Reviewed by AAHS in June 2001.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in April 2003.



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