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Wells ordinance under discussion would ban CAFOs from within 2 miles of municipal lines

by 5m Editor
24 February 2007, at 8:31am

INDIANA - A model ordinance on building a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Wells County calls for tougher restrictions than those proposed in legislation pending in the General Assembly.

CAFOs would not be allowed within two miles in any direction of municipal boundaries in the county, according to an ordinance proposal discussed Thursday night by the Wells County Area Plan Commission committee.

The APC committee is studying possible changes in the existing zoning and subdivision control ordinances.

A bill pending at the statehouse (see related story) calls for the large livestock farms to be no closer than one mile from cities, towns and schools.

The APC committee has been meeting on a regular basis and will continue to do so through the next several months as it studies the existing county zoning ordinance and subdivision control ordinance.

APC Director Michael Lautzenheiser Jr. presided at Thursday’s session.

Committee members heard concerns of parties on both sides of the controversial CAFO fence.

The primary concerns of opponents centered on smell, property values and health issues.

CAFOS are described as operations which include 700 or more mature dairy cows, 2,500 swine above 55 pounds or 10,000 swine less than 55 pounds.

Four CAFOs currently exist in Wells County. These operations were approved by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and are in compliance with the existing zoning ordinance. They would not be affected by the proposed ordinance.

Under the plan presented Thursday, other requirements before a CAFO could be approved in Wells County included:

  • A set back from any school property of 2,640 feet (one-half mile) in all directions.

  • A set back from any dwelling unit of 500 feet to the north, south and west.

  • A setback from any dwelling unit of 2,640 feet to the east unless certain odor control technologies are implemented.

  • A set back from any property lines of 100 feet in all directions.

  • A set back from any public waterway of 500 feet in all directions.

  • A set back from any well of 100 hundred feet in all directions.

  • A set back from any post office of 2,640 feet in all directions.

Lautzenheiser displayed a map of the county which showed, under the proposed requirements, where a CAFO could be legally maintained.

Source: The Bluffton News-Banner

5m Editor