Ag Nuisance Complaints
Carroll County strives to preserve, protect, and encourage the development and improvement of its agricultural land for the production of food and other agricultural products. To that end, the County’s Right-to-Farm code (Chapter 160 of the Carroll County Code) is intended to reduce the loss to the county of its agricultural resources by limiting the circumstances under which agricultural operations may be deemed to constitute a nuisance, trespass, or other interference with the reasonable use and enjoyment of land, including but not limited to smoke, odors, flies, dust, noise, chemicals, or vibration, provided that nothing in this chapter shall in any way restrict or impede the authority of the state and of the county to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
It is in the public interest to promote a clear understanding between agricultural operations and nonagricultural residential neighbors concerning the normal inconveniences of agricultural operations which follow generally accepted agricultural practices and do not endanger public health or safety.
The Right-to-Farm code also is meant to promote a good-neighbor policy by advising purchasers and users of property adjacent to or near agricultural operations of the inherent potential problems associated with such purchase or use. These potential problems include, but are not limited to, noises, odors, dust, flies, chemicals, smoke, vibration, and hours of operation that may accompany agricultural operations. It is intended that, through mandatory disclosures, purchasers and users will better understand the impact of living near agricultural operations and be prepared to accept attendant conditions as the natural result of living in or near rural areas. However, the code is effective regardless of whether disclosure was made in accordance with §160.05.
Carroll County’s Right-to-Farm requirements serve to complement Maryland’s Right-to-Farm law. More information about the State’s law can be found at Maryland’s Right to Farm Statute and County Ordinances.
Procedure for Dispute Resolution for Complaints
Below is a brief overview of the process outlined in Carroll County Right-to-Farm code for resolution of disputes for complaints.
- A complaint of nuisance is filed with the Carroll County Health Department. The Carroll County Health Officer will investigate and determine if a nuisance exists that affects public health.
- If a matter arises regarding an interference with the use or enjoyment of property due to agricultural operations, a property owner contacts the Agricultural Land Preservation Program Manager at CarrollAgPres@CarrollCountyMD.gov or 410-386-2214.
- If the matter moves forward, the Reconciliation Committee review and render a written decision on the matter. This decision is binding unless the party appeals to the Circuit Court of Carroll County within 30 days of the decision.
Right to Farm Notice and Real Estate Transfer Disclosure
Upon any transfer of real property by any means, the transferor shall provide the purchaser or lessee a statement specifically advising the purchaser or lessee of the existence of this chapter, which shall be in substantially the form set forth in the “Right-to-Farm Notice and Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement.” Click here to access form.