Reducing urban and agricultural land use conflict plays a critical role in maintaining productive agriculture in Merced County. Historically, a major issue in the County has been the expansion of urban uses onto adjacent farmland. This often creates nuisances for urban residents which in turn threatens the viability of agriculture. To combat this problem, the County adopted a Right-to-Farm Ordinance which requires prospective residents of new development near agricultural areas to be notified that there may be inconveniences and discomfort associated with normal farming activities and that any established agricultural operations will not be considered a nuisance.
In addition to nuisance issues, residential development in rural areas and the parcelization of agricultural lands into small unincorporated rural holdings reduces the efficiency and viability of commercial farming. The policies in this section seek to minimize land use conflicts between urban and agricultural uses, reduce farmland conversion, limit further parcelization of farmland, and establish adequate buffers between agricultural and urban uses.