Northampton, MA, Municipal Code

Updated September 2021

By: City of Northampton
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Table of Contents

The city’s codified ordinances address farmland protection in its chapter on Agriculture (Chapter 111). The chapter includes a purpose and mission statement emphasizing the importance of agriculture to the city (§111-1), establishes definitions for farming and farming activities and an interpretation of when parcels of less than and more than five acres may be deemed to be in agricultural use (§111-4), and states the city’s right-to-farm declaration (§111-5). The code requires disclosure notification of the city’s right-to-farm policy for all real estate transactions occurring within one half-mile of active farming operations (§111-7).

Social Equity

The city’s codified ordinances require shared mobility device operators to submit an equity plan. §312-127(H) outlines the required components of the plan, including community engagement, alternative payment options, and hiring policies and workforce opportunities.

Urban Livestock

The city's zoning code addresses the keeping of farm animals and pet chickens as accessory uses (§350.5.3.A–B). Horses, cows, and exotic animals require 30,000 SF for the first animal and 15,000 SF for each additional animal; sheep, goats, llamas, rabbits, and poultry require 30,000 SF for up to 3 animals and 10,000 SF for each additional animal. The code addresses setbacks and sanitation requirements for stables and enclosures. Up to 6 rabbits, 6 female chickens, or 3 ducks may be kept per parcel or per structure as household pets. Includes maintenance and setback standards for coops and runs; slaughtering is prohibited.

Northampton, MA

2010 Population: 28,549

2010 Population Density: 833.74/square mile