PA Land Use Legislation Facilitates ‘Agritourism’ Activities

April 2021Articles

Farms would be permitted to generate additional revenue through agritourism activities under a proposed Pennsylvania law.

House Bill 216 has been proposed as an amendment to the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. The measure would restrict municipalities from prohibiting the use of agricultural land for any of the following activities:

  • Agricultural purposes or for the construction of buildings or structures incident to the use of the land for agricultural purposes
  • Agritourism activities
  • Limited seasonal events
  • Activities that require a limited license
  • Retail food facilities
  • Weddings
  • Musical entertainment that accompanies one of the six activities listed above and complies with applicable noise and nuisance ordinances

The bill goes on to provide definitions for agricultural land, agritourism activity, limited license, limited seasonal event, normal agricultural operation and retail food facility. Finally, the proposed legislation does not restrict reasonable municipal regulations as to the size of a structure, the size of a parking area, property line setbacks and egress/ingress activities.

The net effect of this bill, if adopted, would be to allow farms to generate additional revenue through agritourism activities. These types of activities, such as agricultural festivals, seem to be welcome by all in the community except possibly some adjacent residents who, although they enjoy looking at the farm, don’t want these activities in their backyard.

If you have any questions about this topic, or other land use matters in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, please contact Robert W. Gundlach, Jr. at [email protected] or 215.918.3636.