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Lancaster County Board opts against blocking more large animal feeding operations as new regs are drafted

Lancaster County Board opts against blocking more large animal feeding operations as new regs are drafted

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Lancaster County Board of Commissioners will not seek a moratorium on new confined animal feeding operations as a task force completes its work drafting new zoning rules. 

Commissioner Sean Flowerday had proposed placing a moratorium on the large livestock operations following the application of Sunset Poultry, which wants to build a farm with 380,000 chickens near the Lancaster-Saunders county line. 

As proposed, those broiler chickens would be taken to Lincoln Premium Poultry's processing plant in Fremont to be sold to Costco.

The moratorium wouldn't apply to that application, he said. 

After discussion Thursday morning, the five commissioners agreed it was impractical to pursue a temporary halt on these proposals because enacting that change could take just as long as the timeline to enact any new zoning ordinances coming from the task force looking at the issue.

That group is expected to meet at least one more time in the coming weeks, and their recommended zoning law changes could be up for vote by early October. 

Flowerday said he wouldn't want to have a moratorium that only lasted three weeks. 

And other commissioners and planning staff noted the County Board can attach rules to the special permits granted to the types of commercial farming operations.

"Congratulations," Flowerday said, "this is what it looks like to make the sausage." 

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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