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The Crossroads Journal

Cedar Fort Planning Commission holds public hearing on Right to Farm Ordinance

By Charlynn Anderson

Concerns over the interface between established agricultural lands and potential new residential development prompted the Cedar Fort Planning and Zoning Commission to hold a public hearing on March 6, 2018. Besides discussing the proposed Right to Farm ordinance, planning commissioners also listened to public input on proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance on easements and roads.

The Planning Commission listened to public comment and discussed ways to mitigate potential conflicts between agricultural pursuits in Cedar Fort and new residential developments. Several citizens commented that people building residences next to agricultural properties sometimes complain about animal sounds and smells, dust and noise from farm equipment, and irrigation water that may run through or close to their lots. New residents might request the Town to step in and curtail those aspects of rural life that they find objectionable. The Right to Farm ordinance upholds the agricultural activities that are central to the rural lifestyle in Cedar Fort while addressing safety and conservation.

"What we are striving for is that when developments come in and they don't allow the large animals, we want them to understand your neighbors still have the right to farm. That doesn't change," said Commissioner Chris Murphy. The proposed ordinance will require that a note be placed on final residential plat maps that states, "This area is subject to the normal, everyday sounds, odors, sights, equipment, facilities and any other aspects associated with agricultural lifestyle."

Mayor David Gustin pointed out that all the residential property in Cedar Fort is zoned "Residential and Agricultural" and asked the Commission if the ordinance would apply to all new residences in town, or just major subdivisions. Commission Chairman David Rose answered that the ordinance addresses any new development in town.

The responsibility of animal owners to contain their animals, as well as fencing requirements, are addressed in the ordinance.  Six-foot high non-climbable fences will be required to keep children out of enclosures for large animals, and animals away from roads. Residents should also be responsible to keep household pets away from farm animals.

The proposed Right to Farm Ordinance stipulates that new developments may not disrupt the flow of irrigation water and must work with the applicable irrigation company concerning accessing, piping or relocating irrigation ditches. Drainage between adjacent properties, erosion and soil protection are other concerns addressed in the ordinance.

Section 1 of the Right to Farm Ordinance summarizes the purpose of the ordinance by saying, "The Town of Cedar Fort values its rich agricultural heritage and considers agricultural uses as a component of the Town's community fabric, quality of life amenities, and contributions to the Town's economic base." The ordinance aims to protect and preserve "agricultural land and agricultural activities within the Town."

The Cedar Fort Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Right to Farm Ordinance in their regular monthly meeting on March 13, 2018. The ordinance will now move on to the Cedar Fort Town Council for their action on the ordinance.

The community news source for Eagle Mountain Utah, Saratoga Springs Utah, Lehi Utah, American Fork Utah, Highland Utah, Alpine Utah, and The Cedar Valley, including Cedar Fort Utah and Fairfield Utah. Copyright 2019 The Crossroads Journal LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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