Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner

Orders Issued Pursuant to AML §305-a

The Department of Agriculture & Markets issues Orders pursuant to its authority under §305-a of the Agriculture & Markets Law to protect farm operations from unreasonably restrictive laws. These Orders are issued on a case-by-case basis to compel compliance, only after conducting a thorough review and after collaborating with the municipality at issue to develop mutually acceptable modifications.

The Department is providing these Orders for informational purposes to assist in guiding local governments, farmers, and the general public. These Orders should not be construed in any way as having legal effects on other parties or circumstances other than those subject to the Orders.

All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the listing of issued Orders is complete and accurate. However, for the most current information, you are advised to directly contact the Department.

No Date Issued Locality County Restrictions Related Proceedings
93-11/21/1993FremontSteubenDenial of a special permit under a law that prohibits the housing of farm animals within 200 feet of a side or rear lot or 300 feet from an existing dwelling. Farm operation sought a special permit for two existing buildings to be converted into a finishing barn and a smaller barn to house livestock. Board issued a decision granting the special permit for the finishing barn, but denied the application for the smaller barn citing concerns of Health and Safety.Upheld in Art 78 Proceeding
94-15/26/1994WilsonNiagaraRefusal to further process a permit application until farm operator provides a full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) in an application for a permit to construct a pole barn. Barn would be situated on a 210 acre lot and would be used to house cows.Upheld in Art 78 Proceeding
95-13/6/1995VeronaOneidaProhibition on the composting and storage of milk whey wastewater sludge in violation of the Town's zoning ordinance because the Town considered it a commercial or manufacturing operation rather than agricultural activity. The Local Law prohibited the disposal, storage and/or composting of materials, including sludge, septage or "non-local manure" within the Town.Upheld in Art 78 Proceeding
97-16/18/1997ButternutsOtsegoProhibition on landspreading through a local law, which prohibits the dumping of "waste materials of any nature" on land within the Town, regardless of whether the NYS DEC has granted a Waste Transporter Permit.Upheld in Art 78 Proceeding & Subsequent Appeal to 3d App. Dept.
00-12/28/2000ElbridgeOnondagaDenial of a permit to erect temporary greenhouse and requirement of the construction of a fence to screen existing greenhouses, or the removal of existing greenhouses. Town also required farm operation to file a long form Environmental Assessment Form under SEQRA.N/A
01-11/19/2001BerlinRensselearRestriction of a permit for a setback variance for greenhouses and variance for lighting used in greenhouses in exchange for the farm to agree to forgo any improvements of temporary or permanent nature on a portion of the parcel in use by the farm operation or any successive operation. The provision of the local law states: "No glare or heat shall be produced that is perceptible beyond the boundaries of the lot on which the use is located."N/A
01-26/19/2001VarickSenecaImposition of a moratorium on the construction of new confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and a moratorium on issuing any building permits for the new construction of structures used as confined animal feeding operations until the Town has had an opportunity to review the health hazards associated with such hazardsN/A
01-39/12/2001Sandy Creek OswegoImposition of a moratorium on the land spreading of liquid manure. Prohibition of land spreading of liquid manure significantly limits a farm's nutrient management options and could result in unavoidable violations of a farm operator's CAFO permit issued by DEC.N/A
01-49/12/2001LaconaOswegoLocal Law amended to prohibit the land application of liquid manure. Prohibition of land spreading of liquid manure significantly limits a farm's nutrient management options and could result in unavoidable violations of a farm operator's CAFO permit issued by DEC.N/A
02-19/17/2002MiloYatesImposition of requirements for site plan review for manure storage facilities; mandated nutrient management plans for smaller livestock farms; manure storage requirements for smaller farms; a prohibition against manure storage facilities within the zoned low density residential and/or commercial districts in the Town; requirements for posting of emergency contact information; excessive setbacks for livestock operation facilities, manure storage and land application of liquid manure; and land application requirements which exceed the State's base requirements.N/A
03-12/11/2003Fenton BroomeTown classification of a horse operation as Commercial Outdoor Recreational Use, not an agricultural operation, subjecting commercial horse boarding operation to site plan requirements as well as other special approval requirements. N/A
03-210/14/2003ThroopCayugaImposition of a six-month moratorium on commercial and industrial development; re-zoning a portion of the commercial and industrial zoning to residential, and requiring a special permit for the construction of agricultural buildings in an agricultural district. N/A
06-11/30/2006ShortsvilleOntarioProhibition on the keeping of barnyard animals upon the annexation of property into the village of Shortsville from the Town of Manchester. Village Code requires compliance by obtaining approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals and Certificate of Occupancy and the setback/removal of fencing. N/A
06-23/21/2006LaconaOswegoRestriction on landspreading of liquid manure, which authorizes the locality to review pesticide records and mandates that the farm operation pay for the Village's costs to hire an attorney, geologist, certified CAFO planner and other professional consultants in connection with the Village's review, consideration and approval or rejection of an application for a farmstead; and requires an annual application fee for field application of materials.Upheld in Art 78 Proceeding & Subsequent Appeal to 3d App. Dept.
06-312/13/2006PomfretChautauquaRestriction on keeping two unlicensed passenger vehicles on farm to support growing, harvesting, and handling of grapes. N/A
11-12/23/2011SoutheastPutnamRequirement that the operator of a commercial horse boarding operation request a permit consisting of a $1,100 fee and a lengthy approval process for the construction of (1) steel sheet piling along approximately 140 feet of stream bank along a portion of the East Branch of the Croton River, (2) a rock rip rap to armor the bank and protect the pilings, and (3) vegetative plantings along the bank for stabilization purposes to avoid further erosion into an existing agricultural structure under the local Freshwater Wetlands Law. The planned activity had already been approved by the NYS DEC.N/A
13-16/27/2013LewisboroWestchesterRestriction on the definition of a commercial horse boarding operation to one that consists of 10 acres or more, operating under a horse management plan, special permit, and a site development plan approved by the Town's Planning Board. The local law also limits the number of horses on a parcel of land to one animal for the first 2 acres and one animal for each additional acre thereafter. N/A
15-11/13/2015GainesOrleansDenial of a permit for a wind turbine to be constructed on a fruit farm because it exceeded setback requirements set by the local wind energy law. The town had previously approved the permit and after the permit was issued, mandated that the farm operation dismantle the wind tower and move it to comply with the setback requirements. Upheld in Art. 78 Proceeding
15-26/30/2015ClarenceErieDenial of a variance to a zoning law that limits the height of towers to 60 feet as measured from the average ground height surrounding the site of the tower to a farm operation desiring to increase the height by 80 feet for a total height of 140 feet for the purposes of constructing a wind turbine to offset energy needs of the greenhouse operations. Upheld in Art. 78 Proceeding
16-16/9/2016BenningtonWyomingProhibition of disposal of sludge, sewage sludge, and septage generated outside of the town within the town. Farm operation operates across the borders of both Erie and Wyoming Counties and deposits Equate bio-solids for the production of corn and soybean. The farm operation intends to apply through the method of injection.N/A
16-212/14/2016EllenburgClintonProhibition of "septage" in any zone, defined as "sludge (or derivatives of) biosolids" under Town's Zoning Code, which includes the Class A biosolid Fertilimer. Fertilimer is proposed to be applied to three parcels consisting of 154 acres of land in a total area of 900 owned acres and 500 rented acres. Both EPA and DEC have not identified additional toxic pollutants in biosolids for regulation under the Clean Water Act and have determined that the risk potential is low.N/A
17-15/22/2017WheatfieldNiagaraProhibition of the application of Equate on one parcel used for crop production within the Town under the Biosolids Management Law, which prohibits biosolids, digestate, or other liquid derived from materials containing human waste, pathogenic organisms, and/or municipal wastewater, at any location within the Town. Unreasonably regulates on-farm disposal, storage and/or composting of sludge, septage and non-local manure for agricultural purposes within an agricultural district.Upheld in Art 78 Proceeding

Other Court Decisions Related to AML §305-a

Name Highest Court Last Date Issued Restrictions Disposition
Lysander v. Hafner Court of Appeals 10/18/2001 Refusal to extend a permit for the construction of mobile homes for migrant farm workers on a farming operation under a local zoning ordinance requiring that all one-story single family dwellings have a minimum living area of 1,100 square feet. Unreasonably Restrictive since Mobile homes used to house migrant farm workers are considered under the scope of farm operations under §305-a.
Town of Beekman v. Giangrande Supreme Court, Dutchess County 04/22/2004 Injunction requested against a farm operation conducting retail sales, in violation of local zoning ordinance. Unreasonably Restrictive in the case that the Department of Agriculture & Markets challenges the ordinance since direct farm sales are afforded protections under §305-a under Department guidelines.
ELCO Development v. Town of Palermo Supreme Court, Oswego County 05/24/2000 Imposition of a twelve month moratorium on dumping and/or spreading of medical and scavenger waste within town. Plaintiff must exhaust the internal administrative procedures provided by the Department of Agriculture & Markets before requesting that a court intervene in a §305-a action.
Inter-Lakes Health v. Town of Ticonderoga Appellate Division, 3d Department 12/16/2004 Challenge to a local law passed by the Town Board intending to comply with Article 25AA of the AML by creating an exemption for farm operations within Agricultural Districts, regardless of the zoning designation for such parcels. Court rejects the argument that the AML was not meant to pre-empt local zoning laws that predate the formation and certification of an Agricultural District.