In the News: Do Roosters Make North Hampton More Rural?

In North Hampton, a proposal to change zoning laws has caused some debate. Seacoast Online has reported on the issue. This is a section from the article:

Changes proposed to the existing ordinance governing agricultural activities in town would have defined what those activities could include. It allowed the breeding, raising, housing and sale of livestock, from buffalo to pigs, on any parcel of land two acres or more. The proposal also allowed for the storage of manure on the property and lowered setbacks required from neighboring property lines to 50 feet or 85 feet from a neighboring residence from the current 200 feet. It also took fowl and poultry out of the town’s current definition of livestock and gave them their own category.

Agriculture Commission member Cindy Jenkins told Planning Board members her group was submitting the proposed changes to bring the town into compliance with state law. RSA 672:1, states: “Agricultural activities are a beneficial and worthwhile feature of the New Hampshire landscape and shall not be unreasonably limited by use of municipal planning and zoning powers or by the unreasonable interpretation of such powers.”

“The 200-foot setback struck us as being an unreasonable application of zoning powers in North Hampton,” Jenkins said. “The state of New Hampshire is encouraging us to have more to do with the food we eat. There is no sustainability if we have to rely on commercial food operations and trucking for food.”

In the end, “the Planning Board voted 4-0, with Dr. Joseph Arena abstaining, to hold off on recommending the Agricultural Commission’s amendment to town voters at the May 11 town elections. Instead, board and commission members will join with residents in trying to develop a way for property owners to raise their own food, while limiting the amount of nuisance that activity would cause abutters.”

To read the entire article, click here.

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