Governor Murphy, yesterday, signed A-2768/S-1245, which amends the “Right to Farm Act” to allow housing for equine-related farm employees.
The new law requires that, notwithstanding any local health code or zoning ordinance to the contrary, the rules and regulations and agricultural management practices authorize full-time, year-round, equine-related farm employees to be housed in the same building as horses under certain circumstances. The housing must be in a separate area that qualifies as a separate building under the State Uniform Construction Code (UCC), or on a separate level from where horses are boarded or housed, provided that the floor provides sufficient separation to meet UCC fire rating standards.
In addition, the employee living area on a different floor or in a separate area must have its own ventilation system that is separate from the ventilation system for the horses. Compliance with all other UCC and Department of Community Affairs standards or requirements is still necessary.
The League opposed this bill as it provides unnecessarily broad exemptions from important local review and community input. With the bill now signed into law the League anticipates working with the State Agriculture Development Committee as they begin the process of developing and adopting rules and regulations to implement the new law, to ensure the health and safety of our residents are protected.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x137.