Agricultural operations; local regulation of certain activities, On-Farm Activities Working Group. (HB268)

Introduced By

Del. Bobby Orrock (R-Thornburg) with support from co-patron Del. Matt Fariss (R-Rustburg)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Agricultural operations; local regulation of certain activities. Protects customary agritourism activities at agricultural operations from local bans in the absence of substantial impacts on the public welfare and requires localities to take certain factors into account when regulating agritourism activities. The bill requires a basis in health, safety, or public welfare for a local ordinance that restricts any of several activities: the conduct of agritourism activities, the sale of agricultural or silvicultural products or related items, the preparation or sale of foods that otherwise comply with state law, and other customary activities. Localities are prohibited from subjecting those listed activities to a special-use permit requirement, and in most situations localities are prevented from stringently regulating the sound produced by the listed activities. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

  • 12/30/2013 Committee
  • 12/30/2013 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14101999D
  • 12/30/2013 Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
  • 01/13/2014 Assigned ACNRsub: Agriculture
  • 01/20/2014 Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (6-Y 1-N)
  • 01/22/2014 Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (17-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
  • 01/22/2014 Committee substitute printed 14104244D-H1
  • 01/23/2014 Read first time
  • 01/24/2014 Passed by for the day
  • 01/27/2014 Read second time
  • 01/27/2014 Committee substitute agreed to 14104244D-H1
  • 01/27/2014 Amendment by Delegate Orrock agreed to
  • 01/27/2014 Engrossed by House - committee substitute with amendment HB268EH1
  • 01/27/2014 Printed as engrossed 14104244D-EH1
  • 01/28/2014 Read third time and passed House (73-Y 23-N)
  • 01/28/2014 VOTE: PASSAGE (73-Y 23-N) (see vote tally)
  • 01/29/2014 Constitutional reading dispensed
  • 01/29/2014 Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
  • 02/04/2014 Impact statement from DPB (HB268EH1)
  • 02/04/2014 Impact statement from DPB (HB268H1)
  • 02/27/2014 Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with amendments (13-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
  • 03/03/2014 Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)
  • 03/04/2014 Read third time
  • 03/04/2014 Reading of amendments waived
  • 03/04/2014 Committee amendments agreed to
  • 03/04/2014 Engrossed by Senate as amended
  • 03/04/2014 Passed Senate with amendments (33-Y 7-N)
  • 03/04/2014 Placed on Calendar
  • 03/05/2014 Senate amendments agreed to by House (81-Y 18-N)
  • 03/05/2014 VOTE: ADOPTION (81-Y 18-N) (see vote tally)
  • 03/07/2014 Enrolled
  • 03/07/2014 Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB268ER)
  • 03/07/2014 Impact statement from DPB (HB268ER)
  • 03/07/2014 Signed by Speaker
  • 03/10/2014 Signed by President
  • 04/03/2014 G Approved by Governor-Chapter 494 (effective 7/1/14)
  • 04/03/2014 G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0494)

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 7 minutes.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB71.

Comments

Josh Taylor writes:

Very pleased to see this compromise legislation.

Thank you Virginia Farm Bureau for getting behind this bill to help the small producers.

This is a great step forward and one that makes me proud to be a Virginian.

Thank you.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I'm concerned about wedding venues that are masquerading as wineries, cideries, etc. More of these pop up every year, from the Roanoke Valley to Northern Virginia, and at all points in between. To the extent to which this bill allows people to open wedding venues in rural areas, sell a few bottles of wine each day, and be exempt from the zoning restrictions that affect all other wedding venues, then I think this is real trouble. Reading through the bill—specifically its reliance on the definition of "agritourism activity" in § 3.2-6400—I fear that's the case. If localities believe that this is the case, too, they'll lobby against this awfully hard.

Where's Waldo? Not reading Bills writes:

@Waldo Jaquith - why are you against Small Family Farmers? You have also come out swinging against other farm freedom related legislation as well.

Perhaps if you ACTUALL READ the legislation, you would understand that the "fear mongering" you are dishing out is not possible with this legislation.

Next you will say this bill will lead to strip clubs in chicken coops.

It is sad to see you have to make a ridiculous fool of yourself with such gross exaggeration.

Where's Waldo? Not reading Bills writes:

Waldo?? REALLY?

This Bill has NOTHING to do with wineries. What a joke. Next you will say this bill will cause strip clubs in chicken coops. Why stop there?

THERE IS NOTHING in this bill that permits weddings. Shocked that Waldo would make such ridiculous statements. Waldo, are you a puppet for the PECkers?

The only thing awful is the absurdity of Waldo's statements.

Try READING the legislation. And Waldo, by the way, Wineries are heavily regulated by ABC and guess what wineries have their own statewide code of protections from over regulation already currently on the books.

This bill has nothing to do with wine, wineries, weddings or anything else you are dishing out.

You have a right to oppose legislation, just please don't fabricate a bunch of nonsense and stick to the facts.

Can't think of anything more American or more Virginian than legislation to help Small family farmers remain viable farming.

Where's Waldo? Not reading Bills writes:

PS: Waldo, why don't you update this website? Notice that the committee members are wrong in many cases.

PSS: You do have a great site even if your opinions are off on some issues. I may not agree with you, but would zealously defend your right to voice your opinion.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

This Bill has NOTHING to do with wineries.

You are wrong. Section B1 of this bill says that it pertains to "agritourism activities as defined in § 3.2-6400." That definition says that it's an activity carried out on a farm or ranch, and a "farm or ranch" is defined in that section as "land used for the production, cultivation, growing, harvesting or processing of agricultural products." That includes wineries, as is made specific by that sections references to "viticulture."

The rest of your comment is offensive swill. I posted a nuanced comment that raised the possibility of a problem with the bill, saying that I'm worried "to the extent to which this bill allows people to open wedding venues in rural areas," and that "I fear that's the case." I made no absolute statements, but only raised concerns based on an explanation that included a citation in the Code of Virginia. You responded with shameful personal attacks, premised on an inaccurate reading of the bill and the law, for which you should be embarrassed. There is nothing wrong with failing to properly understand bills or laws—that's the norm—but to do so while also being convinced of your infallibility and insulting me is shameful.

Notice that the committee members are wrong in many cases.

They made those committee assignments yesterday. Since before dawn yesterday morning, I have been traveling to and attending a White House conference about open data. If you would like to assemble a list of the new committee memberships for me—a multi-hour process—you are welcome to do so. If you find Richmond Sunlight unsatisfactory, and my comments so odious, I encourage you to use the official website.

Alex G. writes:

Respectfully Waldo, you are incorrect. (BTW,you provide a wonderful service and would be happy to assist you in any way)

I mean this with all respect intended, but you are incorrect Waldo. I get no pleasure out of correcting you Waldo and admire your work. Frankly, until now have agreed with you.

Viticulture (from the Latin word for vine) is the science, production, and study of grapes. It deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard and does not include a winery. Please understand that there are vineyards that do not have wineries. In fact, there is a growing need for more viticulturists and grape growers to supply to Virginia's massive growing wineries.

A WINERY is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as VINIculture. It is a branch of the science of horticulture.

It pains to correct you Waldo. Again, no disrespect intended. It is what it is as such this bill could in no way permit wineries or weddings as weddings are not an agricultural activity. That is an important distinction.

Alex G. writes:

Waldo, here is some more information. Please know I support this bill because it protects AGAINST weddings, winery extravaganzas and KMarts in rural Virginia. This bill is ENTIRELY different from last year's bill. Please re-consider your position as this bill is dearly needed in Virginia. We are losing our small family farm producers and as we all know when we lose our small farms they are lost forever. This bill helps preserve and protect our rural farm lands - this is good for us all and good for Virginia.

Please see below:

Duties of the viticulturist include monitoring and controlling pests and diseases, fertilizing, irrigation, canopy management, monitoring fruit development and characteristics, deciding when to harvest, and vine pruning during the winter months. It does not include winemaking, wineries, tasting rooms, weddings, etc.

Alex G. writes:

Respectfully Waldo, you are incorrect. (BTW,you provide a wonderful service and would be happy to assist you in any way)

I mean this with all respect intended, but you are incorrect Waldo. I get no pleasure out of correcting you Waldo and admire your work. Frankly, until now have agreed with you.

Viticulture (from the Latin word for vine) is the science, production, and study of grapes. It deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard and does not include a winery. Please understand that there are vineyards that do not have wineries. In fact, there is a growing need for more viticulturists and grape growers to supply to Virginia's massive growing wineries.

A WINERY is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as VINIculture. It is a branch of the science of horticulture.

It pains to correct you Waldo. Again, no disrespect intended. It is what it is as such this bill could in no way permit wineries or weddings as weddings are not an agricultural activity. That is an important distinction.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Yes, I studied viticulture at Virginia Tech. I am well familiar with viticulture, thank you. Nearly all wineries in Virginia maintain at least an acre or two of vines, in order to be classified as a "vineyard" under the law. This is a source of a deep schism within the winery industry in Virginia (and, I imagine, elsewhere), as farmers who run proper vineyards are frustrated by those who run show vineyards—a few vines, wine that they had somebody else bottle from somebody else's grapes—because it can be difficult to teach consumers the difference.

It shouldn't "pain" you to correct me. People are wrong all the time. A major purpose of this website is to provide a venue for the exchange of information, which is going to involve people learning things and, sometimes, being wrong. There's nothing terrible about being wrong, or about telling others that they're wrong about something. It's behaving like a jackass that's problematic, as the prior commenter has done.

NOVA Calling writes:

Agree 100% Waldo! I knew I liked you - Go Tech! (and also agree about the A-hole too above) :)

I also agree about the "fake wineries" out there. One or two acres of vines is a joke. I don't want Disney wineries. Don't get me wrong. I like wine. Wine is good. But the fake wineries really take away from the scientific art of wine making and the true masters of Virginia wine. Those pretend wineries have to depend on becoming venues for non-agricultural activity like weddings because they are not truly winemakers.

Listen, last year's farm bill was bad and I did not support it. It was deeply flawed in terms of where it was located in the code and it included remedies that were rather controversial.

Frankly, this bill does very little for small farmers because all it does is echo what is already in the code. The Counties still have the same power to regulate and the farms are still limited on what they can do.

The way I see it. It is a warm fuzzy bandaid to make this farm freedom revolution go away. Makes Virginia look good. Other states have this on the books. This way Virginia is not last to adopt. Otherwise this pitchfork revolution is going to keep coming back every year in massive numbers and maybe next time with torches. No thank you.

Either way. No harm here and the backlash for opposing small farm legislation, that does no harm, is not worth the public hatred.

Just my two cents. peace.

Leri T. writes:

I would like to see a definition of "general welfare of the public." I fear some communities may reach, given the current atmosphere and proclivity to take offence at just about anything.

Mark the Fact Speaker writes:

This is a very brief, truncated dissertation about GMO's.

First let us look at the seed. It is modified in a myriad of ways. The dna alteration is: embedded with the active ingredient inside Round-Up so that the farmer can blanket spray the crop (THAT YOU EAT, OR FARMERS FEED THEIR CATTLE, LIVESTOCK) with Monsanto's Round-Up (makers of Agent Orange and CorExit-9500, a neuro-toxin dumped in the Gulf of Mexico...google it) without killing the GMO plant.

Embedded in the seed is aluminum oxide. Why? Well, it is to work in conjunction with another activity that is occurring daily overhead: CHEMTRAIL SPRAYNG. Of the many toxic substances within the chemical spray is aluminum oxide. The combination of chemical, metals, and various nano-particles being sprayed kill all organic flora eventually. BUT...the GMO seed/plant again has been engineered to withstand the chemtrail spray due to embedded particulates as stated. You may ask...why, again? Well, you see, he who controls the currency, the air, the water, AND THE FOOD, controls the world. Monsanto has a desire to control the food. If they can kill off the organics, it will leave them as the sole food source.

Also, GMO seed plants are designed to not regenerate seeds that can be used for replanting. In other words, they have sterilized the plant. When we ingest this poison food, either directly or via livestock meats, we are slowly sterilizing ourselves and more so the future generations. This is part of the depopulation plan of the United Nations Agenda 21.

I hope this helps you recognize how DANGEROUS GMO crops are and the livestock that you eat is. Don't believe the hype of some local farmers who tout their beef is "Natural grass fed cattle'. That may be true in part, but they are also being fed winter silage that is GMO crop poison frankenfood.

Furthermore, what Chemtrail compounds do is very detrimental to the soil and waterways. They chelate the minerals of the soil. Chelation means depletion. The depletion of minerals in the soil created a less prosperous growth cycle for the plant, with the plant having less mineral content itself. Eating GMO crops/meats creates mineral chelation in your body! For humans and animals alike, the depletion of minerals in our bodies creates less viability to metabolize vitamin nutrients. Ever hear of anemia? Please do your own studying...GMO's and CHEMTRAILS are designed to destroy...not geo-engineer away from 'global warming'. That is a huge hoax.

Matthew Thompson writes:

Hopefully this bill will pass. This is very important to the future of Virginia. Local governments, especially VACO, the Virginia Association of Counties, have been wasting our hard earned tax dollars fighting against property rights and the small family farmer for too long! If small family farmers are driven off their land we will not be able to sustain or food freedom. This issue affects both the farmer and consumer. We need the right to buy whatever we want from whomever we want in order to healthily feed our families. This bill will help to ensure that our rights remain intact.

Matthew Thompson writes:

I meant to say "our food freedom," not "or food freedom," I'm not sure how to edit my comment so forgive me for the error.

Matthew Thompson writes:

I am also happy that the Virginia Farm Bureau has decided to agree to this bill. When it first appeared last year the bill did not have Farm Bureau's support. I am glad that they finally came to their sense and finally agreed to represent the will of the people. With their support the bill has a better chance of passing in Virginia.

Tom Grigsby writes:

I strongly support the right of farmers and consumers to engage in direct sales and other farm activities that do not significantly impinge on the rights of others.
These kinds of activities are what land ownership and farming are about.
Personal and commercial activities should not require extraordinary permissions (meaningless hoop jumping) from local gov't bureaucracies ,which infringes on the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens trying to make a living and provide for their families.
Farmers should be free from the meddling of county governments harassing farmers as if it is a suburban homeowners association.
Please support bills HB 268 and SB 51, introduced by Delegates Orrock and Senator Stuart.
The passage of this legislation will create untold economic opportunity for Virginia farmers!
Thank you for your support.

Sheila Robadey writes:

Please support our local farmers. It would be a tragedy to lose any more of the small farms in our area.

Gloria Jackson writes:

Please support the bill defending our rights for local farmers

robert legge writes:

I can't put my finger on it, but I just don't feel comfy about this bill. When I hear someone say "how can you be against small family farms", I guess a queasy feeling. The attacks on Waldo said a lot more about the poster than they did Waldo, who countered most gracefully. I am also interested in learning more about the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund (from whom I heard about this from) and their connection to the Weston Price Foundation. I just wonder whether all this money is coming from small family farmers.