University of Vermont AAHS

Idaho Agricultural Protection Act


22-4501 Legislative findings and intent.

The legislature finds that agricultural activities conducted on farmland in urbanizing areas are often subjected to nuisance lawsuits, and that such suits encourage and even force the premature removal of the lands from agricultural uses, and in some cases prohibit investments in agricultural improvements. It is the intent of the legislature to reduce the loss to the state of its agricultural resources by limiting the circumstances under which agricultural operations may be deemed to be a nuisance. The legislature also finds that the right to farm is a natural right and is recognized as a permitted use throughout the state of Idaho.

22-4502 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Agricultural operation" includes, without limitation, any facility for the growing, raising or production of agricultural, horticultural and viticultural crops and vegetable products of the soil, poultry and poultry products, livestock, field grains, seeds, hay, apiary and dairy products, and the processing for commercial purposes of livestock or agricultural commodities. (2) "Nonagricultural activities," for the purposes of this chapter, means residential, commercial or industrial property development and use not associated with the production of food commodities.
(3) "Improper or negligent operation" means that the agricultural operation is not undertaken in conformity with federal, state and local laws and regulations or permits, and adversely affects the public health and safety.

22-4503 Agricultural operation not a nuisance -- Exception.

No agricultural operation or an appurtenance to it shall be or become a nuisance, private or public, by any changed conditions in or about the surrounding nonagricultural activities after the same has been in operation for more than one (1) year, when the operation was not a nuisance at the time the operation began; provided, that the provisions of this section shall not apply whenever a nuisance results from the improper or negligent operation of any agricultural operation or an appurtenance to it.  In the event of an alleged nuisance resulting from agricultural operations pursuant to a federal or state
environmental permit or caused by a violation of the permit(s), terms or conditions, the affected party shall seek enforcement of the terms of the permit.

22-4504 Local ordinances.

No city, county, taxing district or other political subdivision of this state shall adopt any ordinance or resolution that declares any agricultural operation operated in accordance with generally recognized agricultural practices to be a nuisance nor shall any zoning ordinance that forces the closure of any such agricultural operation be adopted. Zoning and nuisance ordinances shall not apply to agricultural operations that were established outside the corporate limits of a municipality and then were incorporated into the municipality by annexation.  The county planning and zoning authority may adopt a nuisance waiver procedure to be recorded with the county recorder or appropriate county recording authority pursuant to residential divisions of property.

Enacted in 1981, amended in 1994, 1997 and 1999.
Reviewed by AAHS in June 2001.

 Return to Top of This Page
 Return to Agricultural Protection Acts Page