GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2022-55
SENATE BILL 762
AN ACT TO makE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE AGRICULTURAL LAWS OF THIS STATE.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
CLARIFY THE APPLICABILITY OF THE FARM BUILDING EXCEPTION TO THE BUILDING CODE
SECTION 1. G.S. 143‑138(b4) reads as rewritten:
"(b4) Exclusion for Certain Farm Buildings. – Building rules do not apply to (i) farm buildings that are located outside the building‑rules jurisdiction of any municipality, (ii) farm buildings that are located inside the building‑rules jurisdiction of any municipality if the farm buildings are greenhouses or therapeutic equine facilities, (iii) a primitive camp, or (iv) a primitive farm building. For the purposes of this subsection:
For the purposes of
this subdivision, a A "farm building" means any nonresidential
building or structure that is used for a bona fide farm purpose as provided in G.S. 153A‑340.
G.S. 160D‑903(a). A "farm building" shall
a. Any structure used or associated with equine activities, including, but not limited to, the care, management, boarding, or training of horses and the instruction and training of riders. Structures that are associated with equine activities include, but are not limited to, free standing or attached sheds, barns, or other structures that are utilized to store any equipment, tools, commodities, or other items that are maintained or used in conjunction with equine activities. The specific types of equine activities, structures, and uses set forth in this subdivision are for illustrative purposes, and should not be construed to limit, in any manner, the types of activities, structures, or uses that may be considered under this subsection as exempted from building rules. A farm building that might otherwise qualify for exemption from building rules shall remain subject only to an annual safety inspection by the applicable city or county building inspection department of any grandstand, bleachers, or other spectator‑seating structures in the farm building. An annual safety inspection shall include an evaluation of the overall safety of spectator‑seating structures as well as ensuring the spectator‑seating structure's compliance with any building codes related to the construction of spectator‑seating structures in effect at the time of the construction of the spectator‑seating.
b. Any structure used for the display and sale of produce, no more than 1,000 square feet in size, open to the public for no more than 180 days per year, and certified by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a Certified Roadside Farm Market.
c. Any unoccupied structure built upon land owned by the State of North Carolina and administratively allocated to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or North Carolina State University which is used primarily for forestry production and research or agriculture production and research. The term "agriculture" has the same meaning as in G.S. 106‑581.1. The term "unoccupied" does not exclude the keeping of livestock.
d. A building used primarily for the storage of agricultural commodities or products or storage and use of materials for agricultural purposes, whether or not the building is located on the same property where the agricultural commodities or products were produced, provided the building is surrounded and adjoined by public ways and yards, as those terms are defined in the 2018 North Carolina Building Code, of not less than 60 feet in width. The owner of a qualifying building under this sub‑subdivision shall post a placard on the front of the building. The placard shall be not less than 24 inches by 24 inches in size with a red background, white reflective stripes, and a white reflective border. The placard shall display the words "Ag. Exempt" in white reflective letters not less than 12 inches tall.
AGRICULTURAL USE CLARIFICATION
SECTION 2. G.S. 160D‑903 reads as rewritten:
"§ 160D‑903. Agricultural uses.
(a) Bona Fide Farming Exempt
From County Zoning. – County zoning regulations may not affect property used
for bona fide farm purposes; provided, however, that this section does not
limit zoning regulation with respect to the use of farm property for nonfarm
purposes. Except as provided in G.S. 106‑743.4 for farms that are
subject to a conservation agreement under G.S. 106‑743.2, bona fide
farm purposes include the production and activities relating or incidental to
the production of crops, grains, fruits, vegetables, ornamental and flowering
plants, dairy, livestock, poultry, and all other forms of agriculture, as
defined in G.S. 106‑581.1. Activities incident to the farm include
existing or new residences constructed to the applicable residential building
code situated on the farm occupied by the owner, lessee, or operator of the
farm and other buildings or structures sheltering or supporting the farm use
and operation. A building or structure that is used solely for storage of
cotton, peanuts, or sweetpotatoes, or any byproduct of those commodities, is a
bona fide farm purpose, including a building or structure on a property that does
not have the documentation listed in subdivisions (1) through (4) of this
subsection. For purposes of this section, "when performed on the
farm" in G.S. 106‑581.1(6) includes the farm within the jurisdiction
of the county and any other farm owned or leased to or from others by the bona
fide farm operator, no matter where located. For purposes of this section, the
production of a nonfarm product that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services recognizes as a "Goodness Grows in North Carolina" product
that is produced on a farm subject to a conservation agreement under
G.S. 106‑743.2 is a bona fide farm purpose. For purposes of
determining whether a property is being used for bona fide farm purposes, any
of the following is sufficient evidence that the property is being used for
bona fide farm
purposes:purposes, but other evidence may also be
(1) A farm sales tax exemption certificate issued by the Department of Revenue.
(2) A copy of the property tax listing showing that the property is eligible for participation in the present‑use value program pursuant to G.S. 105‑277.3.
(3) A copy of the farm owner's or operator's Schedule F from the owner's or operator's most recent federal income tax return.
(4) A forest management plan.
STUDY FAIR REPAIR REQUIREMENTS FOR MANUFACTURERS OF FARM EQUIPMENT
SECTION 3. The Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission shall study whether to establish requirements for manufacturers of farm equipment to make documentation, parts, software, or tools required to diagnose, maintain, or repair electronically enabled farm equipment available to owners of the farm equipment or independent repair providers in the same manner as the documentation, parts, software, or tools are available to the manufacturer's authorized repair provider and, if so, the limitations and enforcement mechanisms that should apply to those requirements. In conducting the study, the Committee shall seek input from farm equipment manufacturers, independent repair providers and owners of farm equipment, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Commission shall report its findings, including any proposed legislation, prior to the convening of the 2023 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
PRESERVE CONSERVATION EASEMENTS AFTER PROPERTY TAX FORECLOSURES
SECTION 4.(a) G.S. 105‑374(k) reads as rewritten:
"(k) Judgment of Sale. – Any judgment in favor of the plaintiff or any defendant taxing unit in an action brought under this section shall order the sale of the real property or as much as may be necessary for the satisfaction of all of the following:
(1) Taxes adjudged to be liens in favor of the plaintiff, other than taxes the amount of which has not been definitely determined, together with penalties, interest, and costs.
(2) Taxes adjudged to be liens in favor of other taxing units, other than taxes the amount of which has not yet been definitely determined, if those taxes have been alleged in answers filed by the other taxing units, together with penalties, interest, and costs.
The judgment shall appoint a
commissioner to conduct the sale and shall order that the property be sold in
fee simple, free and clear of all interests, rights, claims, and liens
whatever, except that the sale shall be subject to (i) taxes the amount of
which cannot be definitely determined at the time of the judgment, (ii) taxes
and special assessments of taxing units which are not parties to the action,
(iii) in the discretion of the court, taxes alleged in other tax
foreclosure actions or proceedings pending against the same real property.property,
and (iv) conservation agreements, as defined in G.S. 121‑35(1).
In all cases in which no answer is filed within the time allowed by law, and in cases in which answers filed do not seek to prevent sale of the property, the clerk of the superior court may enter the judgment, subject to appeal as provided in G.S. 1‑301.1."
SECTION 4.(b) G.S. 105‑375(i) reads as rewritten:
"(i) Issuance of Execution. – At any time after three months and before two years from the indexing of the judgment as provided in subsection (b) of this section, execution shall be issued at the request of the tax collector in the same manner as executions are issued upon other judgments of the superior court, and the real property shall be sold by the sheriff in the same manner as other real property is sold under execution with the following exceptions:
(1) No debtor's exemption shall be allowed.
(2) At least 30 days prior to the day fixed for the sale, the sheriff shall send notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the taxpayer at the taxpayer's last known address, in lieu of personal service, and to all lienholders of record. If within 10 days following the mailing of a notice, a return receipt has not been received by the sheriff indicating receipt of the notice, then the sheriff shall make additional efforts to locate and notify the taxpayer, if not yet notified, and all unnotified lienholders of record of the sale under execution in accordance with subdivision (4) of subsection (c) of this section.
(3) The sheriff shall add to the amount of the judgment as costs of the sale any postage expenses incurred by the tax collector and the sheriff in foreclosing under this section.
(4) In any advertisement or posted notice of sale under execution, the sheriff may (and at the request of the governing body shall) combine the advertisements or notices for properties to be sold under executions against the properties of different taxpayers in favor of the same taxing unit or group of units; however, the property included in each judgment shall be separately described and the name of the taxpayer specified in connection with each property.
The purchaser at the execution sale
acquires title to the property in fee simple free and clear of all claims, rights,
interests, and liens except the liens of other taxes or special assessments not
paid from the purchase price and not included in the
and conservation agreements, as defined in G.S. 121‑35(1)."
FARMED CERVID ASSESSMENT CLARIFICATION
SECTION 5. G.S. 106‑1056 reads as rewritten:
"§ 106‑1056. Definitions.
As used in this Article:
(1) "Association" means the North Carolina Deer and Elk Farmers Association.
(2) "Cervid farmer" means a person who (i) is a North Carolina resident and (ii) holds at least one cervid in captivity subject to a captivity license issued by the Department.
(3) "Department" means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(4) "Farmed cervid" means any member of the Cervidae family that is held in captivity and produced, bought, or sold for commercial purposes.
(5) "Farmed cervid
feed" means any commercial feed, as defined in G.S. 106‑284.33,
labeled or marketed sold to a cervid farmer for farmed cervid
SPECIFY THAT COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION OR GROWING OF ANIMALS FOR PURPOSES OF PRESENT USE VALUE TAXATION INCLUDES BOARDING HORSES
SECTION 6.(a) G.S. 105‑277.2(1) reads as rewritten:
"(1) Agricultural land. – Land that is a part of a farm unit that is actively engaged in the commercial production or growing of crops, plants, or animals under a sound management program. For purposes of this definition, the commercial production or growing of animals includes the rearing, feeding, training, caring, boarding, and managing of horses. Agricultural land includes woodland and wasteland that is a part of the farm unit, but the woodland and wasteland included in the unit must be appraised under the use‑value schedules as woodland or wasteland. A farm unit may consist of more than one tract of agricultural land, but at least one of the tracts must meet the requirements in G.S. 105‑277.3(a)(1), and each tract must be under a sound management program. If the agricultural land includes less than 20 acres of woodland, then the woodland portion is not required to be under a sound management program. Also, woodland is not required to be under a sound management program if it is determined that the highest and best use of the woodland is to diminish wind erosion of adjacent agricultural land, protect water quality of adjacent agricultural land, or serve as buffers for adjacent livestock or poultry operations."
UPDATE BONA FIDE FARM CROSS REFERENCES
SECTION 7.(a) G.S. 106‑743.4(a) reads as rewritten:
"(a) Property that is
subject to a conservation agreement under G.S. 106‑743.2 that
remains in effect may receive up to twenty‑five percent (25%) of its
gross sales from the sale of nonfarm products and still qualify as a bona fide
farm that is exempt from zoning regulations under
G.S. 160D‑903. For purposes of G.S. 153A‑340(b),
G.S. 160D‑903, the production of any nonfarm product that
the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recognizes as a "Goodness
Grows in North Carolina" product that is produced on a farm that is
subject to a conservation agreement under G.S. 106‑743.2 is a bona
fide farm purpose. A farmer seeking to benefit from this subsection shall have
the burden of establishing that the property's sale of nonfarm products did not
exceed twenty‑five percent (25%) of its gross sales. A county may adopt
an ordinance pursuant to this section that sets forth the standards necessary
for proof of compliance."
SECTION 7.(b) G.S. 106‑850(b)(10) reads as rewritten:
"(10) To be eligible for
cost share funds under this program, each applicant must establish that the
applicant meets the definition of a bona fide farm as described by
G.S. 153A‑340(b)(2).G.S. 160D‑903(a)."
SECTION 7.(c) G.S. 130A‑247(13) reads as rewritten:
"(13) "Temporary food
establishment" means an establishment not otherwise exempted from this
part pursuant to G.S. 130A‑250 that (i) prepares or serves food,
(ii) operates for a period of time not to exceed 30 days in one location, and
(iii) is affiliated with and endorsed by a transitory fair, carnival, circus,
festival, public exhibition, or agritourism business. For purposes of this
subdivision, "agritourism" means the same as in
G.S. 160D‑903(a). Notwithstanding the time limit set out
in this subdivision, a local health department may, upon the request of a
temporary food establishment, grant a one‑time, 15‑day extension of
the establishment's permit if the establishment continues to meet all of the
requirements of its permit and applicable rules."
SECTION 7.(d) G.S. 130A‑291.1(g) reads as rewritten:
"(g) Production of a crop
in accordance with an approved nutrient management plan on land that is
permitted as a septage land application site is a bona fide farm purpose under
G.S. 153A‑340.G.S. 160D‑903."
SECTION 7.(e) G.S. 139‑60(c1) reads as rewritten:
"(c1) To be eligible for
assistance under this program, each applicant must establish that the applicant
meets the definition of a bona fide farm as described by
G.S. 153A‑340(b)(2).G.S. 160D‑903(a)."
SECTION 7.(f) G.S. 153A‑471(b)(6) reads as rewritten:
(Zoning of Bona Fide Farms) G.S. 160D‑903(a) and (b) shall
apply to all areas within the county boundaries."
SECTION 7.(g) G.S. 160A‑58.54(c) reads as rewritten:
"(c) As used in this
subsection, "bona fide farm purposes" is as described in
G.S. 160D‑903(a). As used in this subsection,
"property" means a single tract of property or an identifiable
portion of a single tract. Property that is being used for bona fide farm
purposes on the date of the resolution of intent to consider annexation may not
be annexed without the written consent of the owner or owners of the
NONREVERSION OF FUNDS FOR NEMATODE MITIGATION RESEARCH
SECTION 8. The funds appropriated by S.L. 2021‑180 to the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission for a contract with NC State University to study nematode mitigation shall remain available until expended and shall not revert.
SEVERABILITY CLAUSE AND EFFECTIVE DATE
SECTION 9. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions of this act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and, to this end, the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.
SECTION 10. Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 30th day of June, 2022.
s/ Phil Berger
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
s/ Tim Moore
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ Roy Cooper
Approved 2:02 p.m. this 8th day of July, 2022