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State anti-nuisance laws, known as right-to-farm laws, burden neighboring property owners with nuisances. The purpose of the laws is to protect existing investments by offering an affirmative defense. Activities that are not a nuisance when commenced cannot become a nuisance due to changes in land uses by neighbors. While most state laws involve a lawful exercise of the state’s police powers, a right-to-farm law may set forth protection against nuisances that is so great that it operates to effect a regulatory taking. Judicial rulings that two Iowa right-to-farm laws went too far in reducing neighbors’ constitutionally protected rights augur an opportunity to rethink right-to-farm laws. Rather than relying upon a marketplace economy to protect businesses, a law based upon an economy of nature may be drafted to protect farmland and other natural resources.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
6 Sep 2022
1.23 MB



  • Subject
    • Constitutional Law

    • Property Law and Real Estate

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

  • Volume
    • 33

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Pagination
    • 87

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022