After about 1 1/2 hours of testimony Monday night, the Boone County Planning Commission voted 5-2 to recommend against approving conditional use permits for two proposed hog confinements within two miles of Petersburg.
The permit applications were submitted by Oakland Farms, LLC, of Iowa. One of the applications was for a Class I confinement (301 to 1,000 animal units) to be located two miles west of Petersburg just south of 145th Street.
The other application was for a Class I confinement to be located 1 1/2 miles west and one mile south of Petersburg, between 190th and 200th Avenues.
Both confinements would be located on land currently owned by James Majerus.
Jeff Jarecki, attorney for Oakland Farms, introduced the applications and stated that both are in compliance with county zoning/setback requirements and permits for both had been approved by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. He added that both units are located in the A1 primary agriculture zone, and the facilities would employ three to four people.
It was noted that James Majerus owns the land, but the building sites would be purchased by Noel H. Williams if the conditional use permits were granted. Williams, an executive with Iowa Select Farms, and Darrell Hunt of Feeding Concepts also testified in favor and explained the projects. Williams said the confinements would be used to develop breeding stock in conjunction with another of the company’s confinements in Holt County.
More than 25 people testified at the hearing. Most objections related to quality of life, odor and flies, prevailing wind direction, reduced land values, the possibility of waste spills, possibility of selling the units to a different owner after they are built, increased truck traffic, wear on roads, and questions about the company’s “track record” in Iowa, where it operates some 700 hog facilities.
Boone County Commissioners will hold future hearings on the conditional use permit requests and will make a final decision. Those hearing dates were not announced Monday night.
Read the complete story in the Nov. 23 Albion News and Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.