Monday, January 27, 2014
As some of you know, my clinic is working with a rural county on an agritourism ordinance, which has me and my students delving deeply into ag law and food law. One recent case out of Oregon seems to me a great example of how the new interest in food's origins--and being close to those origins--is colliding with traditional notions of rural ag uses inherent in zoning requirements.
Take, for instance, the December, 2013 case of Greenfield v. Multnomah County, in which the Oregon Court of Appeals had to decide whether farm-to-plate dinners were permissible in the state's exclusive farm use zones. The farm sought to offer “[f]ee-based farm-to-plate dinner[s], limited to a maximum number of 150 guests and limited to 45 events per year.” The question was whether such uses were contemplated in Oregon's state zoning statute for exclusive farm zones, which limits non-agricultural uses but permits "farm stands." After a fair degree of statutory interpretation I won't belabor, the court concluded that, indeed, the lower Land Use Board of Appeals had erred in finding that "outdoor farm-to-plate dinners are not within the scope of the statute's allowance of 'fee-based activity to promote the sale of farm crops or livestock sold at the farm stand.'" The decision is here.
Independent of the court's holding, the fact that courts are now being asked to decide what type of use a farm-to-plate dinner is illustrates the rising tide of interest in getting back to the farm, but preferably with a glass of viognier in hand. Ag lands adjacent to urban areas will, I believe, be facing a rising tide of such disputes in the coming years and should consider revising ag zoning districts to accommodate this growing interest in what's doing down on the farm.
Finally, since I know you're thinking about it, let's just get it out there that this case does recall this episode of Portlandia:
And while you're on YouTube, let's not leave Idaho out of the fun. This hilarious new video from the Idaho Wine Commission provides one of the best chuckles I've had in awhile.
Stephen R. Miller
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Katherine Dentzman on A Coordinated Approach to Food Safety and Land Use Law at the Urban Fringe
- Jesse Richardson on Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing
- Samuel on Schleicher and Rauch on local regulation of the sharing economy
- Timothy Wayne George on Is Reed v. Town of Gilbert an important sign case?
- Jan 30 - Boston U Law - The Iron Triangle of Food Policy - AJLM Symposium
- "Basic Human Right" to Farm Your Lawn?
- CFP: Fordham Law: Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy
- Fennell and Peñalver on Exactions Creep
- March 11-13: Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute's annual conference: Western Places/Western Spaces: Building Fair & Resilient Communities