What follows is the written response we received yesterday, with answers following in bold. Question 4-6 were included as there is an active maple operation on Miner.
What forms of food production are currently allowed in the residential zone?
YES, BUT NOT FOR SALE OR BARTER
2. Can someone grow food for barter?
3. Can someone collect sap in the residential zone?
NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION AS APPLICANTS WOULD NEED TO FORMULATE A PLAN THAT WAS APPROVABLE BY THE PLANNING BOARD
4. Can someone boil sap in the residential zone?
SAME AS #4.5. Can someone sell maple syrup in the residential zone?
SAME AS #4
6. Can someone grow food in the residential zone and distribute or sell it off site (ex. farmer’s market, wholesale, home delivery)?
7. Can someone grow food in the residential zone and distribute it in the rural portion of their property?
8. If there is no money exchanged on site, can the food be grown and distributed in the residential zone?
This interpretation of the code is much more conservative than we had expected. Not sure if it would stand up in a court of law, but unless it is brought to court, we could not know.
At the joint Planning and Town Board meeting we requested in November, they agreed to work towards a permit process that could be in place in time for the growing season. The goal was set as April. It's running behind as the legislation still has to make it to the County, then back to the Town for a public hearing. We'd then have to apply for the special permit and another public hearing for that application would be required. Regrettably this is not a solution for the current growing season.
Our next step is to apply for a Land Use Variance and a subsequent hearing before The Town Zoning Board of Appeals. We've been told that the majority of Variance Applications are denied.
Who knew growing food for the community could be so complicated?! We'll keep in touch as we continue to brainstorm and deduce our options.