The character of Kootenai County is changing as residential development moves closer and closer to established agricultural, timber and mixed ag-timber operations. With forethought, consideration and understanding of existing law, there need not be conflict between new residential owners and existing farmers or forest owners.
If you are considering moving near or next to undeveloped land, it is important to realize that land is likely managed to provide a living for those who own and manage it. Many of those management practices are part of a proud heritage deeply rooted in this region’s agricultural and forest product industries that have been handed down for several generations. It is wise to familiarize yourself with those management practices and, if you find them offensive, strongly consider purchasing a different parcel of land.
The State of Idaho, through its Right to Farm (Idaho Statutes Title 22, Chapter 45) and Right to Conduct Forest Practices (Idaho Statutes Title 38, Chapter 14) laws, is both supportive and protective of farm and forestry interests. Neither farming nor forestry practices are considered a nuisance when surrounding areas change to residential when the practices were not previously a nuisance. In other words, a housing development springing up close to a farm or forest operation cannot change a practice from acceptable to unacceptable. Protected practices include the harvest of timber, road construction, animal breeding, application of chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, and customary practices that can produce noise, dust, odors, light, and animal waste. The potential buyer of property near a farm or forest operation should read these laws carefully and honestly assess his or her tolerance for the permitted practices.
If you decide living near farm or forest land is for you, here are a few tips for getting along with your neighbors:
If you are considering residential development of land near existing farming or timber operations, here are a few tips for facilitating the favorable reception of your project by neighboring landowners:
If you are an existing farm or forest owner and a new development is proposed near you, here are a few tips for minimizing conflict and helping to make your needs understood: