Proposed MAEAP Rules Narrow “Right to Farm” Protection
Proposed rule changes in the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) have excluded some farmers from MAEAP verification and protection.
Under the proposed MAEAP changes, any livestock farm in primarily residential zoning is ineligible for MAEAP verification. According to the new rules, animal ownership is automatically considered a "significant hazard" for primarily residential zoning.
Historically, farmers in suburban and urban areas have used MAEAP verification to demonstrate that their farms are in compliance with state and federal farming regulations. This provides protection from nuisance lawsuits by neighbors who object to living next door to farm animals.
Excluding farmers located in a primarily residential area from MAEAP verification may leave certain farmers vulnerable to lawsuits and local enforcement action.