Office of the Town Clerk
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News and Announcements
New Town Ordinance - Right to Farm
TOWN OF PORTLAND, CONNECTICUT
Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions
Article 1. In General
Section 12-5. Right to Farm Ordinance
Purpose and Intent
Agriculture plays a significant role in Portland’s heritage and future. It is the declared policy of the Town of Portland to conserve, protect and encourage the maintenance and improvement of agricultural land for the production of food and other agricultural products and for its natural and ecological value. This Right to Farm ordinance encourages the pursuit of agriculture, promotes agriculture-based economic opportunities, and protects farmland within Portland by allowing agricultural uses and related activities to function with minimal conflict with abutters and Town agencies.
This ordinance is not to be construed as modifying or abridging state law relative to the abatement of nuisances, but is to be used in the interpretation and characterization of activities and in considering and implementing enforcement of the provisions of the Ordinances of the Town of Portland and other applicable Town regulations, consistent with the provisions of Connecticut General Statutes §19a-341.
The terms "agriculture" and "farming" shall have all those meanings set forth in Section 1-1(q) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
“Farm” means a premises on which farming is conducted, including, without limitation, farm buildings, and accessory buildings thereto, nurseries, creameries, orchards, vineyards, ranges, greenhouses, hoop houses and other temporary structures or other structures used primarily for the raising and, as incidental and adjunctive to ordinary farming operations, the sale of locally grown or raised agricultural or horticultural products.
"Agriculture" and "Farming" shall include cultivation of the soil, dairying, forestry, raising or harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodity, including the raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training and management of livestock, including horses, bees, poultry, fur‐bearing animals and wildlife, and the operation management, conservation, improvement or maintenance of a farm and its buildings, tools and equipment, or salvaging timber or cleared land of brush or other debris left by a storm, as an incident to such farming operations; the production or harvesting of maple syrup or maple sugar, or any agricultural commodity, including lumber, as an incident to ordinary farming operations or the harvesting of mushrooms, the hatching of poultry, or the construction, operation of maintenance of ditches, canals, reservoirs or waterways used exclusively for packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing or delivering to storage or to market, or to a carrier for transportation to market, or for direct sale any agricultural or horticultural commodity as an incident to ordinary farming operations, or, in preparation of such fruits or vegetables as an incident to the direct sale.
Right to Farm
The Right to Farm is hereby recognized to exist within the Town of Portland. No present or future agricultural or farming operation, place, establishment or facility, or any of its appurtenances, or the operation thereof, shall be deemed to constitute a nuisance, either public or private, due to alleged objectionable:
Odors from livestock, manure, fertilizer or feed;
Noise from livestock or farm equipment used in normal, generally acceptable farming practices;
Dust created during plowing or cultivation operations;
The use of agricultural chemicals, provided such chemicals and the method of their application conform to practices approved by the State of Connecticut Commissioner of Environmental Protection or, where applicable, the Commissioner of Public Health; and
Water pollution from livestock or crop production activities, except the pollution of public or private drinking water supplies, provided such activities conform to acceptable management practices from pollution control approved by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection; provided such agricultural or farming operation, place, establishment or facility has been in operation for one year or more and has not been substantially changed, and such operation follows generally accepted agricultural practices.
Willful or Reckless Misconduct
These provisions shall not apply whenever a nuisance results from negligence or willful or reckless misconduct in the operation of any such agricultural or farming operation, place, establishment or facility, or any of its appurtenances.
Inspection and approval of the agricultural or farming operation, place, establishment or facility by the Commission of Agriculture or his/her designee shall be prima facie evidence that such operations follow generally accepted agricultural practices.
Impact on Local Codes and Regulations
Nothing contained in this ordinance shall restrict the powers of Portland’s Inland Wetlands Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Regulation, Land Use or Health Departments under Chapter 124 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
About the Town Clerk's Office
The office of the Town Clerk has been serving the residents of Portland since 1841. While the clerk’s duties have varied over the years, municipal record keeping has remained the foundation of the office.
Today the Town Clerk's Office serves as the hub for hunting/fishing licenses, notarizing, trade name certificates, dog licenses, the issuing of absentee ballots, and also serves as the registrar of vital statistics.
Our office is continually striving to provide the most efficient services to our residents and taxpayers while maintaining the high level of customer service that has always distinguished this office. Our land records are now accessible online from 1850 through the present. Please visit us on our web site or in person – we look forward to assisting you!
Please note, printed survey maps copies are available in the Town Clerk's Office. Index books are available in the office for your reference
(Letter/ legal sized maps $1 each / 11" x 17" maps $2 each / Large maps $5 each)