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Princeton showjumping denied “agriculture” status

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    Princeton showjumping denied “agriculture” status

    https://www.facebook.com/10000911695...2931072687432/
    "Friend" me !

    http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

    #2
    I don’t understand how they’ve been running shows there for years, but now suddenly there’s a problem. It seems like the town should be glad to have the boost to the local economy from all the exhibitors who show there.

    Comment


      #3
      The meeting minutes from both the SADC and township are public record.

      In January, PSJ was clearly told if they did not comply with the original conditions from 2013 they would not be approved for any additional shows. The issues still outstanding as of January were primarily related to storm water and the "temporary" tents if I recall correctly. The August 27 meeting minutes have not been published yet.

      I believe it is preserved farmland (someone may correct me if I am wrong ) which has fairly strict requirements with regards to use and impervious coverage. Based on minutes, Andrew told them in 2013 (SADC & township) he would be breeding horses on site to produce an agricultural good in addition to the other requirements they requested (Hunter Farms must have bred, raised, or trained 10% or more of horses entered at the shows and they must be for sale). He keeps no horses on the premises other than during shows. They did note recently he has sold plenty of horses

      Comment

        Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by skip99 View Post
        The meeting minutes from both the SADC and township are public record.

        In January, PSJ was clearly told if they did not comply with the original conditions from 2013 they would not be approved for any additional shows. The issues still outstanding as of January were primarily related to storm water and the "temporary" tents if I recall correctly. The August 27 meeting minutes have not been published yet.

        I believe it is preserved farmland (someone may correct me if I am wrong ) which has fairly strict requirements with regards to use and impervious coverage. Based on minutes, Andrew told them in 2013 (SADC & township) he would be breeding horses on site to produce an agricultural good in addition to the other requirements they requested (Hunter Farms must have bred, raised, or trained 10% or more of horses entered at the shows and they must be for sale). He keeps no horses on the premises other than during shows. They did note recently he has sold plenty of horses
        Oops.... oh well Andrew.
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        Comment


          #5
          Isabeau Z Solace it's been interesting seeing the social media spin on things. Having a nice show facility nearby is very nice and I have friends for whom the show is a source of employment. I hope they can make it work, but to act like this is a surprise is silly, they've been in meetings about the same issues for 7 years

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by skip99 View Post
            Isabeau Z Solace it's been interesting seeing the social media spin on things. Having a nice show facility nearby is very nice and I have friends for whom the show is a source of employment. I hope they can make it work, but to act like this is a surprise is silly, they've been in meetings about the same issues for 7 years
            Ah... well, what is the old saying, “success forgives risk.” So now that the shows are established, One should hope to have the (originally, sort of..... “agreed to/acknowledged” requirements of the locality set aside? Few are amused when horse show competitors seek to skirt the rules. So the show organization does not set an exactly sterling example here then.....

            If I understand correctly 🧐
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            Comment


              #7
              Is the requirement to breed horses specific to that township? Surely there are plenty of horse farms in New Jersey that don’t breed any horses.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by MHM View Post
                Is the requirement to breed horses specific to that township? Surely there are plenty of horse farms in New Jersey that don’t breed any horses.
                I believe it's related to the preserved farmland program. When the state sells land under the program, it puts a number of deed restrictions on the property to ensure its use is consistent with the goals of the program. Needless to say, land sold with these restrictions sells well below market value for unrestricted land.

                https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/sadc/farmpreserve/

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post

                  I believe it's related to the preserved farmland program. When the state sells land under the program, it puts a number of deed restrictions on the property to ensure its use is consistent with the goals of the program. Needless to say, land sold with these restrictions sells well below market value for unrestricted land.

                  https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/sadc/farmpreserve/
                  Interesting, thanks.

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by MHM View Post
                    Is the requirement to breed horses specific to that township? Surely there are plenty of horse farms in New Jersey that don’t breed any horses.
                    Indeed. If you do not breed horses or sell hay, or something similar, your horse business is NOT agriculture. Lesson program, boarding, etc do it qualify.
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                      #11
                      I think exhibiting sale horses is part of agriculture because it is a valid way of getting them sold.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                        Indeed. If you do not breed horses or sell hay, or something similar, your horse business is NOT agriculture. Lesson program, boarding, etc do it qualify.
                        The definition of an agricultural business depends on the location. For instance, Maryland defines “horse boarding, breeding, or training” as an Approved Agricultural Activity for property tax assessment.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Gardenhorse View Post

                          The definition of an agricultural business depends on the location. For instance, Maryland defines “horse boarding, breeding, or training” as an Approved Agricultural Activity for property tax assessment.
                          I am guessing that the OP was talking about the laws where this facility is located.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            This is kind of frustrating.

                            Regardless of you would define "agriculture," NJ gives it a specific definition in its farmland preservation program. In exchange for putting the land to that specific use, as defined, the owner gets a massive tax reduction and other protections.

                            The owner of the property where PSJ runs its shows either put the land in the program or bought the land in that program. So he knew he had to make specific use of the land in order to qualify for the program. For reasons unclear to me, he just flouted those requirements and did what he wanted with the land. Namely, held shows there and that's it. He may have wished that met the criteria for proper use of the land but it didn't.

                            Now it's been discovered and they're not approving additional shows because showing in that manner is not an approved use of the land.

                            This has nothing to do with COVID. It has everything to do with the property owner deciding, for whatever reason, that he could do what he wanted with the property and not face any consequences for failure to comply with restrictions on the property. That sucks for everyone who wanted to show there but it's nobody's fault but the property owner. He needed to follow the rules in terms of the use of the land and he didn't.

                            What is worse, PSJ has started a viral campaign to have people write in and complain to various members of NJ state government. I fear this will backfire hugely.

                            1. If a bunch of people write in and say "let us have the shows, we want to show here." It will prove that the owner has been doing what he wasn't supposed to do with the property. So how does that help him or anyone else?

                            2. I suspect a bunch of people who write in support will be non-local. This WILL draw attention to the COVID implications of these shows, which wasn't the reason for saying no now but gives the folks in government a second independent reason to say "no."

                            3. PSJ had a positive person/people from a positive barn at one of their summer shows. I am not totally familiar with the timing. That barn then went to another show in PA the weekend after having to leave Princeton and as best I can tell has been out and about ever since. This didn't get a lot of non-local attention that I saw. So I feel like PSJ was kind of "lucky' that it went "under the radar." If a bunch of people in NJ government start digging, it shouldn't be hard to find this out and I feel like that can't be a positive fact for any local shows in the area.

                            I'm frustrated by this whole thing!
                            ~Veronica
                            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                            http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by FreshAir View Post
                              I think exhibiting sale horses is part of agriculture because it is a valid way of getting them sold.
                              You can think that if you want and I understand the logic. But that's not how NJ defines it. I have a tax assessed farm in NJ. There is a VERY clear form that has to be filled out each year and is specifies states what counts as an "agricultural" use for the credit. Nothing even remotely like exhibiting horses counts. Even riding/training/boarding by itself does not count. Grazing horses counts but at a pre-set yearly rate per acre which is quite low-- you need many many acres for that to qualify as your only agricultural use. Most people grow hay (or other crops) to meet the assessment. You can add uses up (a couple acres of grazing, a couple of crops, a little woodland area, etc. plus an appurtenant barn and lesson program, etc.) but just running a horse show is way outside the definitions to a degree where no one with a straight face could try to claim it meets the requirements.
                              Last edited by vxf111; Sep. 2, 2020, 12:54 PM.
                              ~Veronica
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                This is kind of frustrating.

                                Regardless of you would define "agriculture," NJ gives it a specific definition in its farmland preservation program. In exchange for putting the land to that specific use, as defined, the owner gets a massive tax reduction and other protections.

                                The owner of the property where PSJ runs its shows either put the land in the program or bought the land in that program. So he knew he had to make specific use of the land in order to qualify for the program. For reasons unclear to me, he just flouted those requirements and did what he wanted with the land. Namely, held shows there and that's it. He may have wished that met the criteria for proper use of the land but it didn't.

                                Now it's been discovered and they're not approving additional shows because showing in that manner is not an approved use of the land.

                                This has nothing to do with COVID. It has everything to do with the property owner deciding, for whatever reason, that he could do what he wanted with the property and not face any consequences for failure to comply with restrictions on the property. That sucks for everyone who wanted to show there but it's nobody's fault but the property owner. He needed to follow the rules in terms of the use of the land and he didn't.

                                What is worse, PSJ has started a viral campaign to have people write in and complain to various members of NJ state government. I fear this will backfire hugely.

                                1. If a bunch of people write in and say "let us have the shows, we want to show here." It will prove that the owner has been doing what he wasn't supposed to do with the property. So how does that help him or anyone else?

                                2. I suspect a bunch of people who write in support will be non-local. This WILL draw attention to the COVID implications of these shows, which wasn't the reason for saying no now but gives the folks in government a second independent reason to say "no."

                                3. PSJ had a positive person/people from a positive barn at one of their summer shows. I am not totally familiar with the timing. That barn then went to another show in PA the weekend after having to leave Princeton and as best I can tell has been out and about ever since. This didn't get a lot of non-local attention that I saw. So I feel like PSJ was kind of "lucky' that it went "under the radar." If a bunch of people in NJ government start digging, it shouldn't be hard to find this out and I feel like that can't be a positive fact for any local shows in the area.

                                I'm frustrated by this whole thing!
                                Quoting my "unapproved" post
                                ~Veronica
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Also, the original 2013 approval to host shows on the property was for 9 shows over a set number of total days. PSJ was supposed to go back and get permission to host any additional shows and only did so once in 2019 even though they held more than the authorized number during several years prior.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by FreshAir View Post
                                    I think exhibiting sale horses is part of agriculture because it is a valid way of getting them sold.
                                    Oh that is funny!!!

                                    In most states, including us out west, "agriculture" generally means you are shooting or shearing animals for commercial purposes (beyond farming). Now, if we can shoot horses at the shows and sell the meat, it fits perfect.

                                    This is why we have sheep that are sheared and cows grazing the land that get sent off to the abattoir. Horse shows are the FARTHEST thing from agriculture that involves animals. Just modified dog shows.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                      This is kind of frustrating.

                                      Regardless of you would define "agriculture," NJ gives it a specific definition in its farmland preservation program. In exchange for putting the land to that specific use, as defined, the owner gets a massive tax reduction and other protections.

                                      The owner of the property where PSJ runs its shows either put the land in the program or bought the land in that program. So he knew he had to make specific use of the land in order to qualify for the program. For reasons unclear to me, he just flouted those requirements and did what he wanted with the land. Namely, held shows there and that's it. He may have wished that met the criteria for proper use of the land but it didn't.

                                      Now it's been discovered and they're not approving additional shows because showing in that manner is not an approved use of the land.

                                      This has nothing to do with COVID. It has everything to do with the property owner deciding, for whatever reason, that he could do what he wanted with the property and not face any consequences for failure to comply with restrictions on the property. That sucks for everyone who wanted to show there but it's nobody's fault but the property owner. He needed to follow the rules in terms of the use of the land and he didn't.

                                      What is worse, PSJ has started a viral campaign to have people write in and complain to various members of NJ state government. I fear this will backfire hugely.

                                      1. If a bunch of people write in and say "let us have the shows, we want to show here." It will prove that the owner has been doing what he wasn't supposed to do with the property. So how does that help him or anyone else?

                                      2. I suspect a bunch of people who write in support will be non-local. This WILL draw attention to the COVID implications of these shows, which wasn't the reason for saying no now but gives the folks in government a second independent reason to say "no."

                                      3. PSJ had a positive person/people from a positive barn at one of their summer shows. I am not totally familiar with the timing. That barn then went to another show in PA the weekend after having to leave Princeton and as best I can tell has been out and about ever since. This didn't get a lot of non-local attention that I saw. So I feel like PSJ was kind of "lucky' that it went "under the radar." If a bunch of people in NJ government start digging, it shouldn't be hard to find this out and I feel like that can't be a positive fact for any local shows in the area.

                                      I'm frustrated by this whole thing!
                                      Is there a chance that his failure to comply with the restrictions will have consequences in addition to shutting down the shows? I would think the state would be miffed about the tax breaks he does not qualify for, yet has been enjoying at their expense.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by skydy View Post

                                        Is there a chance that his failure to comply with the restrictions will have consequences in addition to shutting down the shows? I would think the state would be miffed about the tax breaks he has been enjoying at their expense.
                                        Seems possible. I don't really know.
                                        ~Veronica
                                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                        Comment

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