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residential farm buildingFlorida Statute §604.50 defines nonresidential farm buildings as: any building or support structure that is used for agricultural purposes, is located on a farm that is not used as a residential dwelling and is located on land that is an integral part of a farm operation or is classified as an agricultural land under F.S. §193.461.

Florida Statute §823.14(3)(a) defines “Farm” as: the land, buildings, support facilities, machinery, and other appurtenances used in the production of farm or aquaculture products.

Florida Statute §193.461(3)(b) states, in part, that only lands that are used primarily for bona fide agricultural purposes shall be classified agricultural. The term “bona fide agricultural purposes” means good faith commercial agricultural use of the land.

In determining whether the use of the land for agricultural purposes is bona fide, the following factors may be taken into consideration:

  • The length of time the land has been so used.
  • Whether the use has been continuous.
  • The purchase price paid.
  • Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use, but a minimum acreage may not be required for agricultural assessment.
  • Whether an indicated effort has been made to care sufficiently and adequately for the land in accordance with accepted commercial agricultural practices, including without limitation, fertilizing, liming, tiling, mowing, reforesting, and other accepted agricultural practices.
  • Whether the land is under lease and, if so, the effective length, terms, and conditions of the lease.
  • Such other factors as may become applicable.

The basic information required to obtain an exemption from the building permit requirements are as follows. An application will be considered complete when all applicable items are checked off.

  1. Proof of ownership. This can be in the form of a recorded warranty deed, lease and owner’s consent, or other verifiable means of proving ownership. A driver’s license is not in-and-of itself sufficient.
  2. Construction site plan. A survey, sketch, or other legible drawing drawn to scale showing: property boundaries and dimensions; any easements or rights-of-way; any existing or proposed buildings with distances between buildings; setbacks from property lines for all existing or proposed buildings, including the proposed construction; any water bodies or jurisdictional wetlands on the property; existing or proposed right of way connection(s) to public road; and locations of flood zones and floodways.
  3. Proof of Farm. Agricultural classification from Property Appraiser.
  4. Exemption Affidavit. A fully completed, signed and notarized Exemption Affidavit.

Please not this list is intended only as a guide for application submittal and may or may not be all inclusive

Nonresidential farm buildings are an allowed use on a property when all applicable State of Florida Statutes, zoning requirements, development services requirements and licensing requirements are fully met.

Zoning Requirements: Agricultural zoning districts are governed by City of Bonita Springs LDC Chapter 4, Article V, Division 2. Nonresidential farm buildings are allowed when the following requirements are met:

  1. Nonresidential farm building must meet the minimum setbacks as prescribed by the effective zoning district.
  2. No portion of the structure may encroach into any easement or right-of-way.
  3. Any nonresidential farm building used for the storage of hazardous, incendiary, noxious or pernicious materials must comply with standards in the Land Development Code.

Development Services Requirements: Contact Development Services at 239-444-6175 to inquire if a local development order is needed for site development.

Please note, exemption by City of Bonita Springs Community Development does not exempt the Applicant from permits/approvals from external agencies (ex. SFWMD, FDEP, ACOE, Dept. of Agriculture, FWC, etc.)