Which will be heard in the Agricultural Sub-Committee 2
meets Thursdays, 4:00 p.m., House Subcommittee 1,
Second Floor, Room E200-A, Pocahontas Building
Introduced by: Nicholas J. Freitas
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Zoning; aquaculture in agricultural zone; preexisting use. Provides that any aquaculture use that was established on property that was zoned as an agricultural district at the time the use commenced, but later was rezoned to disallow agriculture, is a valid nonconforming use of the property. The bill also provides that language from the Acts of Assembly of 2014 expanding the definition of agricultural products is declaratory of existing law.
A Brief History—
A York County farmer started an oyster farm on his property that was in a zoning district which permitted by right Crop and Livestock Farming and Aquaculture, and is being forced to cease farming operations from his land.
The Code of Virginia since 1950s states that localities can’t require Special Use Permit (SUP) for farming activity in an agricultural district. See
Regardless of the zoning district permitted by right Crop and Livestock Farming and Aquaculture, York County argued in court that it could require a Special Use Permit because oyster farming was not farming and an oyster was not an animal.
In 2014 HB 1089 passed which clarified that oyster farms such as the York County farmers’ are protected by the Code of Virginia
York County asked for delayed enactment to give time to update their zoning code and then contrary to intent of General Assembly used the delayed enactment to argue that HB 1089 was not a clarification but a change that did not apply to the oyster farm.
House Bill 1387 is simply asking that the General Assembly make crystal clear that oyster farms in agricultural districts are protected from rezoning.
Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources –
Subcommittee #2 Membership
|Edmunds, James E., II (Chair)||(804) 698-1060||DelJEdmunds@house.virginia.gov|
|Ware, R. Lee||(804) 698-1065||DelLWare@house.virginia.gov|
|Wright, Thomas C., Jr.||(804) 698-1061||DelTWright@house.virginia.gov|
|Morefield, James W. (Will)||(804) 698-1003||DelJMorefield@house.virginia. gov|
|Fariss, C. Matthew||(804) 698-1059||DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov|
|Plum, Kenneth R.||(804) 698-1036||DelKPlum@house.virginia.gov|
|Sullivan, Richard C. (Rip), Jr.||(804) 698-1048||DelRSullivan@house.virginia. gov|
|Adams, Dawn M.||(804) 698-1068||DelDAdams@house.virginia.gov|
|Marshall, Daniel W., III||(804) 698-1014||DelDMarshall@house.virginia. gov|