Assemblyman   VINCENT MAZZEO
District 2 (Atlantic)
Assemblyman   ROY FREIMAN
District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)
Assemblyman   RONALD S. DANCER
District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)
Assemblywoman   CAROL A. MURPHY
District 7 (Burlington)
Assemblyman   JOHN J. BURZICHELLI
District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)
Assemblymen Taliaferro, Armato, Assemblywomen Reynolds-Jackson, Lampitt, Swain, Assemblymen Conaway, Calabrese, Mukherji, Moen and Caputo
Authorizes special occasion events at certain farms on preserved farmland, under certain conditions.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning special occasion events on preserved farmland and supplementing Title 4 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1.   The Legislature finds and declares that:
a.   Over 2,600 farms comprising over 236,00 acres of farmland have been preserved in New Jersey since the inception of the State   s farmland preservation program;
b.   the original intent of the farmland preservation program was to prevent suburban sprawl and the conversion of agriculturally suitable land to other purposes, and to keep agriculture as an economically attractive business in the State;
c.   agriculture should be viewed as simultaneously a land use and a business enterprise, and preservation of farmland is not meant to prevent farmers from marketing products or engaging in practices that enhance long-term viability of the farm;
d.   keeping agriculture as a sustainable industry in the State ensures residents have continued access to fresh food with low environmental impact;
e.   the growing interest in agritourism, i.e., activities that attract the public to working farms for enjoyment or education of visitors and   generate supplementary income for the farmer, has provided farmers with supplemental revenue and enhanced opportunities to market the State   s agricultural and horticultural products;
f.   with proper oversight, special occasion events on preserved farmland can have minimal impact on land's viability for farming and provide for new business opportunities for farmers in the State without displacing agricultural or horticultural production as the first priority use of preserved farmland or disrupting neighborhoods that surround preserved farms.
2.   As used in this act:
Board    means a county agriculture development board established pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-14).
Commercial farm    means (1) a farm management unit of no less than five acres producing agricultural or horticultural products worth $2,500 or more annually, and satisfying the eligibility criteria for differential property taxation pursuant to the "Farmland Assessment Act of 1964," P.L.1964, c.48 (C.54:4-23.1 et seq.), (2) a farm management unit less than five acres, producing agricultural or horticultural products worth $50,000 or more annually and otherwise satisfying the eligibility criteria for differential property taxation pursuant to the "Farmland Assessment Act of 1964," P.L.1964, c.48 (C.54:4-23.1 et seq.), or (3) a farm management unit that is a beekeeping operation producing honey or other agricultural or horticultural apiary-related products, or providing crop pollination services, worth $10,000 or more annually.
Committee    means the State Agriculture Development Committee established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-4).
Grantee    means the entity to which the development rights of a preserved farm were conveyed pursuant to the provisions of section 24 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-31), section 5 of P.L.1988, c.4 (C.4:1C-31.1), section 1 of P.L.1989, c.28 (C.4:1C-38), section 1 of P.L.1999, c.180 (C.4:1C-43.1), sections 37 through 40 of P.L.1999,  c.152 (C.13:8C-37 through C.13:8C-40), or any other State law enacted for farmland preservation purposes.      Grantee    shall include all entities which lawfully succeed to the rights and responsibilities of a grantee, including, but not limited to, the grantee   s successors and assigns.
Occupied area    means any area supporting the activities and infrastructure associated with a special occasion event including, but not limited to: an area for parking, vendors, tables, equipment, infrastructure, or sanitary facilities; an existing building; or a temporary or portable structure.
Preserved farmland    means land on which a development easement was conveyed to, or retained by, the State Agriculture Development Committee, a county agriculture development board, a county, a municipality, or a qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organization pursuant to the provisions of section 24 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-31), section 5 of P.L.1988, c.4 (C.4:1C-31.1), section 1 of P.L.1989, c.28 (C.4:1C-38), section 1 of P.L.1999, c.180 (C.4:1C-43.1), sections 37 through 40 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-37 through C.13:8C-40), or any other State law enacted for farmland preservation purposes.
Special occasion event    means a wedding, lifetime milestone event, or other cultural or social event conducted, in whole or in part, on preserved farmland on a commercial farm.   "Special occasion event" shall not include:
(1)   an activity which is eligible to receive right to farm benefits pursuant to the "Right to Farm Act," P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-1 et seq.);
(2)   a recreational use permitted pursuant to a farmland preservation deed of easement; or
(3)   a wedding held for:
(a)   a spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, niece, nephew, or cousin of the landowner of the commercial farm; or
(b)     the operator or an employee of the commercial farm.
3.   a.   Notwithstanding any law, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, to the contrary, a person may hold a special occasion event on preserved farmland, provided that the person complies with the reporting and approval requirements set forth in section 4 of this act, and the special occasion event is held in compliance with the requirements of this section and the rules and regulations adopted by the committee pursuant to section 7 of this act.
b.     The owner or operator of a commercial farm located on preserved farmland that produces agricultural or horticultural products worth $5,000 or more annually may hold special occasion events on the farm.   The special o