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County Planners consider changes for primary ag zones

web, 11-1, zoning illustrationA variety of possible regulation changes for Boone County’s A1 primary agriculture zones were considered by the County Planning Commission during its meeting Monday night, Nov. 27.
The board is considering changes that would allow for growth of livestock operations and other types of agriculture in the A1 zones. A dozen people were on hand for the discussion in the county courtroom.
Over the years, many conditional use permits for lot splits of less than 20 acres have been allowed for residences in these zones. With the county’s current setback requirements, there is concern that residential development in A1 restricts agricultural development.
Brian Maricle, president of the Boone County Farm Bureau, said the county’s current setbacks make it virtually impossible to start or add to a livestock feeding operation in the A1 zones. He also noted that some of the Boone County setback rules are more restrictive for enclosed feeding facilities than for open lots, which he said does not make sense.
Boone County’s current setback requirements for livestock facilities of 301 to 1,000 head are one-quarter mile for open lot and one-half mile for an enclosed feeding operation.
The setback distance increases with larger operation sizes, up to 2 1/4 miles for an enclosed facility over 10,000 animal units, and 1 1/4 miles for open lot facilities over 10,000 animal units.
For comparison purposes, County Commissioner Hilary Maricle introduced setback distances required in Knox, Cumming and Madison counties. The setbacks were recently revised in Knox County and reduced to one-quater mile for facilities of 301 to 1,000 animal units, increasing to a maximum of one mile for the largest permitted operations.
Another issue discussed was the Boone County’s 20-acre permitted use lot size for single family homes in A1 districts. The county also has a density requirement of no more than two dwellings per quarter section.
Read more in the Nov. 29 Albion News print and e-editions.