Local farmers fear new laws could negatively impact agriculture

CHENANGO COUNTY – Local farmers and agricultural organizations say new property maintenance provisions in the state’s Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code Act were ill-conceived and could create unnecessary hurdles for the farming industry.

Under the new regulations in the property maintenance section of the uniform code act – which became effective Jan. 1 – farms are required to adhere to the same regulations as all other non-residential structures, which some say is unfair and inappropriate considering the logistical and geographical differences between farms and office buildings.

At a county Agriculture, Buildings, and Grounds Committee meeting last Tuesday, Oxford farmer George Frank, on behalf of Chenango County Farm Bureau, asked that the committee carry a resolution to the full Board of Supervisors May 14 to support an amendment that exempts farms from the codes.

“It (new code) keeps your neighbor from having a junk yard next door,” said Frank, who has been throughout the county and to Albany gaining support for the amendment. “It doesn’t work for farms or farm structures.”

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