Northampton adopts two measures to ease regulations for farm building construction

February 14, 2024

Northampton County adopted two changes to rules at Tuesday night’s Board meeting which will ease the burden on the County’s farmers.

The first was the adoption of newer State rules which would exempt certain farm buildings and structures from stormwater management regulations and site plans in lieu of an agreement on the matter. The second amends the Northampton County Code on Land Usage to allow an agreement instead of requiring erosion and sediment control studies.

Before Tuesday’s action, Northampton County treated farm buildings, such as storage sheds for equipment, the same as other new buildings in the County and had strict requirements for the construction of them.

Applicants will now be able to submit a sketch to County staff for new construction, rather than being required to hire an engineer to prepare more in depth, and more expensive, reports.

Steve Sturgis, speaking on behalf of the Northampton County Farm Bureau, said these regulations added major costs to the construction of simple buildings.

“Site plans such as this, which I did five years ago, cost me over $10,000 to tell me that the water is going to run down hill. There’s no sense in that. But I had to have it, and I’ve done it,” he said. “In this time when equipment is getting so much more expensive for us to purchase, we’d like to protect our investments. As one of the few county’s that still charges farm machinery tax, we’d like to make our equipment last as long as we can, and by that I mean, we need more buildings, and we don’t need the $10,000 expense or plus.”

The Board unanimously approved both changes.

Coldwell Banker Harbour Realty

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