Last Tuesday, despite the tremendous advocacy of Representative Ruggiero, bill H-6172 was passed by the House of Representatives. H-6172 redefines the Right to Farm Act, which makes it easier for farmers to generate nonagricultural revenue. Recognizing the value of farming in Rhode Island, the Right to Farm Act provides farmers the freedom to engage in certain nonagricultural activities in order to sustain their livelihoods. H-6172 seeks to vastly expand the breadth of these activities, all the while shielding them from existing town law.

A substantial loss for the citizens of Jamestown, this amendment will allow farms to completely circumvent local zoning ordinances, allowing any activity to take place so long as it does not pose a public health risk. This opens the door for hotels to be erected, festivals to transpire, and concerts to be held—all of which would disrupt Jamestown’s residential quarters, and fly in the face of land use planning and zoning laws.

Citing the nuisances involved, I urge the Senate not to pass this bill, and the Governor to exercise her veto power if it goes through. I call for them to join myself, the DEM, the Rhode Island Farm Bureau, the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, and the many residents of Jamestown in the opposition of H-6172. The people of Jamestown have a right to a community governed by themselves, and not by the bureaucrats upstate.

As your next Senator, I will ensure that Jamestown retains its autonomy in local matters. Our district needs a leader who can effectively represent you; one who will stand up to the politicians upstate. As a lifelong resident of our community, I know I am your man for the job.

David Hanos, Democratic Candidate for Senate District 13

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).