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Local Farm being bullied by Town

This farm is one town over from where I live and in Rhode Island ya know thats pretty close.  I hooked up with Pine View Farm last year and begin using the lard from their pigs in my soap making business so what the town is doing to them also effects me.  Here is the story......

Press Release For Immediate Release For more information contact Al Bettencourt 556-7605
Scituate: Is Scituate Turning Against Agriculture?
At a time when agriculture is expanding all over the state, including the city of Providence, apparently the town of Scituate wishes to curtail farming operations. At a time when the General Assembly has passed a resolution supporting the Five Year Strategic Plan for agriculture which supports the expansion of agriculture in RI and supports increasing the amount of food farmers produce from 1% of total food consumed to a greater number, Scituate has actually banned certain agricultural operations from taking place.
The town is out right harassing a local farmer, Frank Martinelli, of Pine View Farm. The town is one of the only towns in the State that outright bans piggeries, which is in itself outrageous. Martinelli runs a pig farm, so at first glance it would appear he is out of compliance with the town ordinance. However, the town has a grandfather clause in its ordinance that allows previous uses to continue on the property. Martinelli claims pigs were raised on the farm before zoning ordinances went into affect.
Martinelli was on his way to a town council meeting in April to have what he thought was a discussion on his situation. Instead, just before he left to go to the meeting, he received a call from his meat processor that the Scituate police had asked them to pick up his pigs. As it turns out, cooler heads prevailed and the pigs were not picked up. The town took Martinelli to court in May and the judge refused to make him move the pigs. The case will be heard June 11. The town is also seeking to have Martinelli get rid of geese, ducks and chickens which are free range (a growing trend in the nation).
In the meantime, Martinelli was getting ready to prepare some land for planting. He spread some manure on the land (he is an organic farmer, another national trend). When he went to plow it under, the driveway to his field was barricaded. He removed the barricade and Scituate police arrived and told him to put the barricade back up. This put him behind in planting pumpkins. Again cooler heads prevailed and a couple of days later he was told he could remove the barricade.
Since that incident, he said he has been fined for having debris on his property that he claims he did not put there.
Town officials insist they are not trying to put him out of business. Good grief! What would they do to him if they were trying to put him out of business. They don't want any animals on the land and that is his main commodity and they don't want him spreading manure - he is an organic farmer.
Al Bettencourt
RI Farm Bureau

Views: 253

Comment by Janet Buechler on June 4, 2012 at 9:51pm

I never understood why people buy land around working farms and then want the laws changed to eliminate the dust or the smell to suit them.  If they hate working the land "stay in the city"!

Comment by Patricia Medlin on June 20, 2012 at 9:40pm

What size is this farm and how long has Mr. Martinelli been farming it?

Comment by Lizz on June 27, 2012 at 12:51pm

I know it's about 12 acres but I am not sure how long he has been there, long enough to be grandfathered in I believe.

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