The producers' need for adequate housing for laborers is recognized. We support Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), in consultation with the ag industry, developing a model zoning ordinance for agricultural labor housing.
Conflicts exist in state laws governing the construction of temporary labor housing. Laws such as Right to Farm Act, zoning ordinances, Michigan Public Health Code and the Michigan Construction Code are further complicated by court decisions which all tend to cloud the issue of authority and responsibility.
State approved and inspected housing is an essential component of agricultural production and should not be negatively affected by local zoning ordinances. We will seek legislation that will clearly establish MDARD as having exclusive responsibility for siting, construction, inspection, and approval of occupancy for seasonal farm worker housing in Michigan.