(TRENTON) – The full Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved (74-0) legislation to allow certain farms to hold special events on their property, including weddings, lifetime milestone celebrations and cultural or social events.
The measure (A-2773), sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) and Carol Murphy (D-Burlington) would create a three-year pilot program in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties to allow an owner of preserved farmland host special events. 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.
The pilot program would not apply to wineries, cideries, meadries, breweries or distilleries.
The bill’s sponsors released the following joint statement:
“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. Under this bill, farms will have an opportunity to host these special events to supplement their revenue during good times and bad. Farming is a business, and this initiative makes good business sense.”