County is one of the most productive agricultural counties in the
United States, ranking fifth in total market value of agricultural
products sold. The rural areas of Weld County may be open and spacious,
but they are intensively used for agriculture. Persons moving into
a rural area must recognize and accept there are drawbacks, including
conflicts with long-standing agricultural practices and a lower level
of services than in town. Along with the drawbacks come the incentives,
which attract urban dwellers to relocate to rural area: open views,
spaciousness, wildlife, lack of city noise and congestion, and the
rural atmosphere and way of life. Without neighboring farms, those
features that attract urban dwellers to rural Weld County would quickly
be gone forever.
users of the land should not be expected to change their long-established
agricultural practices to accommodate the intrusion of urban users
into a rural area. Well run agricultural activities will generate
off-site impacts, including noise from tractors and equipment; slow-moving
farm vehicles on rural roads; dust from animal pens, field work, harvest,
and gravel roads; odor from animal confinement, silage, and manure;
smoke from ditch burning; flies and mosquitoes; and the use of pesticides
and fertilizers in the field, including the use of aerial spraying.
Ditches and reservoirs cannot simply be moved out of the way of residential
development without threatening the efficient delivery of irrigation
to fields, which is essential to farm production.
35-3.5-102, C.R.S., provides that an agricultural operation shall
not be found to be a public or private nuisance if the agricultural
operation alleged to be a nuisance employs methods or practices that
are commonly or reasonably associated with agricultural production.
County covers a land area of over 4,000 square miles in size (twice
the State of Delaware) with more than 3,700 miles of state and county
roads outside of municipalities. The sheer magnitude of the area to
be served stretches available resources. Law enforcement is based
on responses to complaints more than on patrols of the county and
the distances which must be traveled may delay all emergency responses,
including law enforcement, ambulance, and fire. Volunteers, who must
leave their jobs and families to respond to emergencies, usually provide
fire protection. County gravel roads, no matter how often they are
bladed, will not provide the same kind of surface expected from a
paved road. Snow removal priorities mean that roads from subdivisions
to arterials may not be cleared for several days after a major snowstorm.
Snow removal for roads within subdivisions are of the lowest priority
for public works or may be the private responsibility of the homeowners.
Services in rural areas, in many cases, will not be equivalent to
municipal services. Rural dwellers, must, by necessity, be more self-sufficient
than urban dwellers.
are exposed to different hazards in the county than in an urban setting.
Farm equipment and oil field equipment, ponds and irrigation ditches,
electrical power for pumps and center pivot operations, high speed
traffic, sand burs, puncture vines, territorial farm dogs, and livestock
present real threats to children. Controlling children's activities
is important, not only for their safety, but also for the protection
of the farmer’s livelihood. Parents are responsible for their children.