Sandy Township Supervisors Change Farming Ordinance

DUBOIS – Farmers in Sandy Township will be allowed to sell items not grown on their property after the Sandy Township Supervisors approved an ordinance change Monday night.

The unanimous vote followed a public hearing at which people from not only Sandy Township, but also from neighboring Brady Township and DuBois City spoke out about proposed changes.

In addition to allowing items not grown, bred or raised on the property to be sold within the township, farmers who choose to do so will be required to obtain a permit from the township.

“It’s a wonderful thing that they got this thing in line to make it fun for everyone in the township,” said Bill Fairman who has a farm in the township.

Gregory Kruk, township solicitor, said that if farmers choose to sell items not raised, bred or grown on the property, sales from those items cannot exceed 50 percent of the farm’s income.

The changes made by the supervisors are in line with the Pennsylvania Right to Farm Act.

Kruk noted after the meeting that the solicitors had considered changing some rules regarding setbacks for structures and dust- or odor-causing substances to be measured from inhabited structures. The law currently reads that setbacks are measured from lot lines.

Several people said that rule was not acceptable, including Chris Palmer of Sandy Township, who was concerned about her horse.

“I’m in a predicament where if I do not have shelter for my horse, I have to get rid of my horse.”

A letter was read from Leon Kriner whose farm land includes property in Sandy Township. He is a director in the Clearfield County Farm Bureau.

Kriner’s letter asked the supervisors to measure the distance from inhabited structures and not from lot lines.

“Forcing farmers to go 200 feet from lot lines is unnecessary where there are no inhabited structures within a quarter mile,” his letter stated.

Although the supervisors did not change the setback portion of the ordinance, Sandy Township Supervisor Dave Sylvis pointed out that people who represent a special case can go before the zoning board to attempt to get a variance on the ordinance.

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