Your ordinance should include a requirement that any livestock owner follow the Maine Department of Agriculture’s Best Management Practices for that species. Board of Selectmen . Several municipalities in Maine have recently revised their local ordinances to allow for backyard chickens or small livestock, so there are several examples and approaches a community can consider. Chicken keepers in Louisiana are subject to various local laws and ordinances. … Learn More. From the road? In such a district, the underlying district requirements remain in effect, except as modified by the overlay zone. Municipal Action: Local Policies and Ordinances. Agricultural easements are a form of conservation easement, a voluntary, legal document attached to a property’s deed that limits the uses of that land. If your community has zoning other than shoreland zoning, make sure those areas of town with important farming soils are designated as rural or critical rural areas and are not targeted for growth. Fortunately, Maine has options that can help landowners reduce their property tax liability through its current use tax programs (Farmland, Open Space, Tree Growth) or the Voluntary Municipal Farm Support Program. Waterville planners to consider changing chicken rules after coop complaint involving former councilor. Enrolled land is assessed at a statewide rate for hardwood, softwood, and mixed wood stands. Some ideas to consider include: An agricultural overlay district are typically identified and delineated on the basis of productive agricultural soils and contiguous areas of active farms. Is a livestock or farm management plan required and if so, what are its components? However, if a landowner does not keep previously enrolled land in one of the programs, a penalty is assessed. The proposal converts Business Park Zone (BP) land to Rural Residential (R-3), expands the Mobile Home Overlay Zone to encompass a portion of parcel R05-34, and converts BP Zone land to Commercial Corridor 196 (CC-196) designation. Town of Topsham, Maine. In addition to regulating solar farms, the proposed ordinance also creates a habitat mitigation fee for the use, based on the Natural Areas Plan. We will re-open on Monday, November 30th at 8:30AM    Announcement!  The Town Tax and Clerk office ONLY is open to the Public and Masks are required. Use a facilitator to help residents find constructive ways to address concerns. As a result, many local ordinances do not accommodate the current needs of farmers. Ideas . What if I disagree with the decision of the administrator? However, a community may consider ordinance changes at other times, so if your community’s land use ordinance is not doing all it can to support farms and help protect farmland, initiate a process to bring about change. From neighboring houses? Maine Farmland Trust uses its “Buy/Protect/Sell” program to do exactly that, and is always willing to partner with a town or local land trust on such a project. (see Urban Agriculture for activities appropriate for a downtown district or small village district). In many communities, existing municipal ordinances were created before these trends emerged. Most communities have land use ordinances covering the following types of activities: [Note: These activities may all be included in one consolidated land use ordinance, or may be separate ordinances]. ARTICLE 11: Solar Energy Conversion Systems, At their June 16, 2020 meeting, the Planning Board recommended that this ordinance amendment be placed on the Town Meeting Warrant with a recommendation of "Ought to Pass.". Towns can benefit greatly from having farmland protected through agricultural conservation easements. Maine Farmland Trust is an Equal Opportunity organization, employer and provider. There are three current use programs that can help farmers have slightly different eligibility requirements and will result in different levels of tax savings for landowners. Learn More. Enrolled land is assessed at its current use value, based on state guidelines for farmland. This page provides the proposed ordinance language and supporting materials for each of the warrant articles. In addition to regulating solar farms, the proposed ordinance also creates a habitat mitigation fee for the use, based on the Natural Areas Plan. The business of farming is often messy. The tract must generate at least $2,000 gross income from farming activities each year. This type of easement is usually initiated by the property owner or a land conservation organization, and does not have an acquisition cost associated with it. 97 Main St, Belfast, ME 04915 map, Portland: 509 Ocean Ave, Portland, ME 04103 map, Gallery and offices are open Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm. Farmers that receive these special tax breaks must place agricultural conservation easements on their land that remain in effect for at least 20 years. Moreover, a landowner may move a piece of land from one program to another. A landowner may place some land in one program and other land in another program. The Planning Board has prepared three amendments and has reviewed two road acceptance applications for consideration at the 2020 Town Meeting. Educate local residents about farming in general and Maine’s Right to Farm law. It is commonplace for a town to develop new ordinance language after updating its comprehensive plan, so that any new policies included in the plan are articulated in the ordinance. Approved Minutes 2013; Agenda 2014. More information about getting a passport may be found at the websites of the State of Maine Homeland Security and the United States Department of State. Residents would learn directly from the farmers about their agricultural practices and why those practices are important to their business. This income can be derived by the owner or by a lessee. Home; Government. Is a low limit on sales (e.g., less than $2000 per year) acceptable? The exhibit for this proposed amendment is listed last on this page. How far should animal pens be from property lines? Who enforces the ordinance provisions and what is the protocol for questions or complaints? The ordinance amendment is championed by the Topsham Solar Advocates. Ensuring that Maine’s best farm soils are going to be available for future generations will be perhaps the most important legacy of our time.

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