Committee to hold hearing on additional 6-month ban
BY KEVIN BONESKE
The current ban in Oneida County on allowing additional farming operations with 500 or more “animal units” could be extended for an additional six months.
The county’s Planning and Development Committee agreed Wednesday to hold a public hearing on the possible extension of the one-year moratorium set to expire next February.
Last January, the County Board passed a resolution to impose the moratorium to prohibit new livestock facilities of 500 or more animal units, for which the definition takes into account the types of animals to assign a numerical value per animal, to provide time to determine whether the county’s zoning and shoreland protection ordinance should be amended or a livestock facilities zoning ordinance should be created to protect public health or safety.
County planning and zoning director Karl Jennrich, who requested the extension, informed the committee the resolution allows continuing the moratorium for another six months with a majority vote of the County Board and that county corporation counsel Brian Desmond suggested a public hearing be held just like what would take place with any other ordinance amendment.
“I don’t think that’s a big deal to have a public hearing,” said County Board chairman Dave Hintz.
Though concerns have been raised about the potential problems with locating a large-scale farming operation, such as with a proposal to locate a pig farm in Bayfield County, Jennrich said no one has contacted him requesting permission to locate such a farm in Oneida County.
He said he wouldn’t favor handling problems linked to large-scale farms, such as the stench, with a nuisance ordinance.
Jennrich said he has sent a memo to the county’s townships related to large-scale farming operations known as concentrated animal feeding operations, asking whether the towns want to allow those types of operations, whatever the size might be.
A date for the committee to hold a public hearing to consider extending the moratorium, for which an advanced legal notice would be required, has not been set.