Once again, a violation of Palo Alto County's Good Neighbor Policy was cited as the reason for denying a conditional use permit for a new hog confinement in the county. The action came during the April 24 meeting of the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors.
The request for the conditional use permit, submitted by Duane Myer, was for the construction of one 100-feet by 200-feet hog finishing barn in Rush Lake Township. The facility would have deep pit manure storage.
"On April 9, the Planning and Zoning Commission met and discussed this hog finishing site," related Joe Neary, Palo Alto County Zoning Administrator. "The DNR denied the permit for another site that they submitted first and they looked for an alternative site. This site is located in Rush Lake Township."
The previous site was located too close to a cemetery. DNR regulations cite that a hog confinement must be 1,250 feet from a residence and at least 1,875 feet from a cemetery.
During the meeting with the Supervisors a telephone call was taken from Deb Travis, a resident of Rush Lake Township, who shared her objections to the hog finishing barn. She stated that her allergy to hogs and running the local wells dry were top concerns. Travis noted that her neighbor, Jean Carmichael, also objected to the proposed site.
"I would like to see the Supervisors continue to abide by the Good Neighbor Policy," Travis concluded.
Other objections came from neighbors Joe Schumacher, who has a young daughter with allergies, and Wendy Horsman, who is concerned about property values and depleting the water supply of a new well on her land.
"I did speak with Rick Elbert [well driller] who said that the site won't affect Horsman's well," Neary noted.
"I will certainly plant trees and re-orientate the building so that it blows to the east," Duane Myer offered.
"Planning and Zoning is not recommending this site because it did not meet the Good Neighbor Policy," Neary said.
"Then we have to deny it," said Supervisor Jerry Hofstad.
"We try and respect our Planning and Zoning board and enforce the Good Neighbor Policy," stated Keith Wirtz, board chairman.
"We don't have a choice on this. We have to deny it," Hofstad surmised.
The board then approved supporting the Planning and Zoning Commission's recommendation.
In other business, the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors gave their approval for the final plat of West Shores Estates, a Shoreland Subdivision (also known as West Shore, First Addition), located along the shores of Five Island Lake in Freedom Township.
On April 9, the Planning and Zoning Commission tententively approved the request pending completion of an abstract opinion.