A number of existing federal, state, and county regulations address the conflicts that arise between farming and non-farming uses. To protect neighboring property owners, the EPA office of Pesticide Programs broadly regulates the use of pesticides by farmers in the U.S. Moreover, California implements strict pesticide regulations that vary by crop type and are designed to protect residential areas, schools, and other sensitive sites during spraying operations. In Ventura County, these regulations are implemented by the Agricultural Commissioner’s office through issuance of pesticide permits and periodic inspections. For more information, contact the Agricultural Commissioner’s office between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at (805) 933-2926 or click here to visit their website.
In the late 1970s the Ventura County Board of Supervisors adopted a "Right to Farm Ordinance" intended to protect the farming community from developments that would inhibit their ability to continue agricultural production. Such things as agricultural wind machines, odors, dust, and noise are often the subject of nuisance complaints by adjoining property owners.
The Ventura County Right-to-Farm Ordinance consists of two components. The first component is found in the enforcement sections of the Coastal and Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinances and is administered by the Planning Division’s Zoning Enforcement Section (Sec. 8183-4.1 and Sec. 8114-2.1.1, respectively). These sections of the code protect farmers engaged in agricultural activity from public nuisance claims.
The second component of the Right-to-Farm Ordinance is found in several sections of the Ventura County Ordinance administered by the Agricultural Commissioner’s office (Sec. 9121, Sec. 9131, and Sec. 9136). These sections of the Right-to-Farm Ordinance were updated in 1997 through Ordinance 4151. They require mandatory disclosure to neighboring property owners of the potential noise, odors, dust, and spraying that may result from farming and they detail procedures for mediation of disputes that may arise. The intent is to properly inform and to set realistic expectations for new residents and occupants of buildings located adjacent to farming operations. In essence, this section of the “Right to Farm” Ordinance puts a new purchaser of property on notice that existing agricultural operations inherently have noise, odor and other potentially annoying activities that are associated with accepted agricultural operations.
For further information on the County’s Right to Farm Ordinance, please contact Korinne Bell, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner in the Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, at (805) 933-2926 or contact the Zoning Administration and Enforcement Section of the Planning Division at (805) 654-2788.