Gov. Murphy signs bill allowing special events on preserved farmland
NEW JERSEY – Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho that would authorize special social events on preserved farmland was signed into law Friday by Governor Murphy.
“I am proud this legislation will be signed into law. Our heritage as the ‘Garden State’ goes back hundreds of years, and our farming tradition is still thriving in many families and communities throughout the state,” said Oroho (R-24). “In addition to growing fruits, vegetables, and grains, our farms can also be used for wedding ceremonies and many other special events. This bill, now law, will provide an economic benefit to farmers, preserve important farmland, and showcase New Jersey’s rich agricultural legacy.”
New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program has preserved over 2,600 farms comprising over 236,000 acres, approximately one out of every three acres of farmland in the state since its inception. When farms are preserved, the right to use and develop the land for nonagricultural purposes is permanently extinguished.
Oroho’s bill, S-757, authorizes special social events at certain farms on preserved farmland. Events can be weddings, music, lifetime milestone events, or other cultural or social gatherings.
The number of special occasion events that can be held would be limited based on the economic output of the farm. A commercial farm that produces agricultural or horticultural products worth between $10,000 and $100,000 annually may hold up to a maximum of 15 events per year. A farm that produces products worth $100,000 or more may hold up to a maximum of 26 events per year.
All special occasion events would have to be applied for, and receive approval from, the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC).