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Assembly Democratic-Sponsored Bill to Allow New Jersey Farms to Host Special Events Advances in Assembly

The Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved legislation to allow commercial farms to hold special events on their property, including weddings, lifetime milestone celebrations and cultural or social events.

Currently, wineries on preserved farmland in New Jersey are permitted to host special events under a pilot program enacted in 2014. This bill (A-5157/5384) would permanently adopt the program and expand it to include all types of commercial farms.

Farms considered “residentially-exposed,” defined as being on a residential road, or which have event space located within 200 feet of a residential road, would be permitted to have seven events per year. Other farms would be allowed 14 events annually.

Bill sponsors, Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), Carol Murphy (D-Burlington), Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), Clinton Calabrese (D-Bergen, Passaic), John Armato (D-Atlantic) and Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) released the following joint statement:

“Commercial farms have so much more to offer their communities besides fresh produce and sprawling open space. They can serve as beautiful grounds for a variety of special occasions, from rustic weddings to outdoor music festivals. Hosting these kinds of special events are a great way for farms to supplement their revenue during difficult times and promote their services. We’ve seen wineries have great success under the State’s current pilot program, and the natural next step is to extend this opportunity to all commercial farms in New Jersey.”