New law restricts local agricultural regulation


Capital News Service


RICHMOND — Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law a bill that restricts Virginia localities’ ability to regulate certain activities at agricultural operations, including the management of agritourism events, and the sale of agricultural products and foods otherwise compliant with state law.

Senate Bill 51 prohibits Virginia localities from regulating or requiring a special-use permit for any of these activities without a “substantial impact on the health, safety or general welfare of the public.” The bill goes into effect on July 1.

SB51 also calls for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to continue the On-Farm Activities Working Group. The group was developed after the 2013 General Assembly session to allow individuals representing agricultural and local interests to work together on policy initiatives.

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