In 2003, the Legislature passed the Agricultural Lands and Practices Act, to prohibit counties from adopting any duplicative ordinance, resolution, regulation, rule, or policy that limits activity of a bona fide farm on agricultural land if the activity is already regulated through best management practices (BMPs), interim measures, or regulations by the DEP, DACS, or a water management district as part of a statewide or regional program; or regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture, Army Corps of Engineers, or Environmental Protection Agency.  This bill expands the prohibition to include not just counties but any “governmental entity,” and also prohibits any governmental entity from charging an assessment or fee upon any such activity. 

HB 203 was passed by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee, and will now move on to the Local and Federal Affairs Committee, its second of three committees of reference.  FAC has expressed concerns with regard to the potential for a broad interpretation of “fees and assessments” and will continue to work with the bill sponsor to narrow the scope of the proscription.