MIcro-farming: WATCH OUT FOR ZONING!!!!

by Sherri
(Dunnville)

I have written in many times (Dunnville resident) about my families big move and our big plans for a micro-farm (6 acres) with diverse livestock..... well all was going well 3 batches of chickens "under our wing" and our piggies arrived a few weeks ago.

Our kind neighbour quickly had issues with our 6 Berkshires attracting rats? and escaping (pigs are apparently escape artists) he also pre-complained about the stench pigs would bring because they are filthy creatures.

Those of us in the "know" realize non of this is correct. He is a nice fellow despite his complaint. So he innocently inquired with the bylaw board as to us having these animals. We were not worried since we bought a "agriculture & commercially zones property. Also we knew our piggies having roughly 1/2 acre of pasture would reduce and odour they may produce. And of course being good neighbour we discussed this with him to help alleviated his concerns.


Heres the rub......
Nice by law fellow stops by the 3rd day of our pig ownership(apparently neighbour waited quite a while to call and complain) Get ready for the shock........ we are NOT zoned agricultural! we are zoned rural.

He informed us that they have problems with this all the time. Realtors market and sell a property zoned "agricultural" even if it is not. The responsibility is the buyer to verify the zoning. I will be honest it was marked correctly on the mortgage papers but I like others was scanning that 30 pages document full of legalize for $$ errors NOT 1 simple word that means oh so much.

So long story short, it looks like all the work and sweat and $$$ we put into our dream property is all for not. We will be selling in the spring and relocating. The bright side: we have learned so much in the past year that we now know what to look for to truly build our dream farm & life.
SO buyer beware of slimy realtors.

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Also beware of farms not being farmable
by: Lucia

if you live in beautiful Qu├ębec, also beware. If you purchase a "farm" but there were no animals raised on in for 12 consecutive months, you have lost all the granted rights to raise anymore animals on the "farm" even if it is on agricultural zoning.

Once you make a bid on the farm, ask the owner to put at least one hen in the barn to ensure that "animals are being raised" on the farm. Once 12 months have passed without farm animals, you have to request new permits, and they will apply the new zoning restrictions, which could mean moving the barn-stable a mere 300 yards away from the house. So before you commit to purchasing a farm, make sure that animals are still being raised, even if only one hen, or that it has not been 12 months since.
good luck
Lucie

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