The Lancaster County Board will not put a temporary moratorium in place for feeding operation proposals that would be in effect while the planning staff works on new feedlot regulations.
Commissioners had expected they could simply pass a resolution announcing the moratorium, a process that would take a few weeks.
But they can’t, County Board Chair Todd Wiltgen said this week.
Commissioners would have to amend the county zoning code to create a moratorium, which would require a public hearing and approval by the Lincoln-Lancaster Planning Commission and a public hearing and approval by the County Board.
That process would take at least two months, Wiltgen said. Because of the holidays, any change would probably not take effect until early next year.
As a result, establishing a moratorium is not practical, he said.
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The commission has established, with the most recent approval, that it can set reasonable standards for these operations, so it's not fair to say there are no rules, he said.
In addition, Planning Department staff have said they have not had any new inquiries about locating any feeding operations in Lancaster County, he pointed out.
Commissioners have asked the planning staff to look at the county’s zoning requirements for large feeding operations in light of the controversy over a chicken feeding operation near the Saline County line.
Commissioners voted 3-2 to allow the chicken farm. The farm operator agreed to rules that were beyond what is in the county zoning code. And those rules would apply to any new proposal, Wiltgen said.
Those rules assured there wasn’t going to be any contamination of the water or other issues that would adversely affect the environment, he said.