The County has measures in place to minimize conflicts between agricultural and urban land uses to ensure the long-term productivity of the agricultural sector, namely the Agricultural/Urban Buffer Policy and the Right-to-Farm Ordinance.
Agricultural/Urban Buffer Policy
The County’s Agricultural/Urban Buffer Policy provides policy direction to prevent and/or mitigate conflicts that may arise at the agricultural/urban interface. This policy is intended to protect the economic viability and long-term sustainability of the county’s agricultural industry. It applies where urban structures or ongoing non-farming activities are permitted adjacent to land in crop or orchard production or classified by the California Department of Conservation Important Farmland Inventory as Prime, Statewide Importance, Unique or Local Importance farmland. These guidelines apply to projects requiring discretionary approval by the County or a city where the proposed non-farming activity is abutting or on land zoned “Agriculture Exclusive,” “Open Space,” or “Rural Agriculture,” and the farming activity is located outside a Sphere of Influence.
The County adopted the Right-to-Farm Ordinance in the late 1970s. It is administered by both the Planning Division through the Zoning Ordinance and by the County Agricultural Commissioner. The Right-to-Farm Ordinance is intended to support and provide a safeguard for existing agricultural and farming operations that could be threatened by encroaching residential development. This is achieved through mandatory disclosure notifications provided to property owners who will be developing residential uses adjacent or near existing agricultural operations. The disclosure informs people seeking to develop or purchase homes of the Right-to-Farm Ordinance and the potential impacts that may be generated by nearby farming operations. The Ordinance also protects farms from nuisance complaints associated with customary farming practices.
The policies in this section seek to enhance compatibility protections that will enhance the long-term viability of agricultural in Ventura County.