Saturday, 30 March 2013

Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Limits on Agriculture Exemption

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Iowa Supreme Court today ruled that a Linn County couple's property is not exempt from county zoning laws because they did not prove their homes were primarily used for agriculture.

Daryl and Arelene Lang filed suit against the Linn County Board of Adjustment after it denied an agriculture exemption for two properties the Langs owned.

The first property was a 6.52 acre parcel that included a home where the Lang's lived. The Langs argued the home was a farmhouse for them to work on their land raising trees, fish and various fruits and vegetables for sale. The second property, a 49-acre parcel, had a house the Langs rented out to people they argued worked on the farm.

The Iowa Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings siding with the Board of Adjustment that the Lang's did not show the land was primarily used for agriculture.

"The manorial residence on the 6.52 acres was a residential tail wagging a farmland dog," the justices wrote in their ruling.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruling notes that a farmhouse must be "primarily adapted to agriculture use" to qualify for an exemption. It finds the board can deny exemptions when "the agricultural activities are basically a sideline designed to obtain an agricultural zoning exemption for the owners’ residence."
original Article Here

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