CRETE, NE - 6/19/2018 - A "zoning action in progress" sign marks the location of a proposed poultry operation at 13350 Wittstruck Road that would produce broilers for the new Costco chicken processing plant in Fremont. ERIC GREGORY, Journal Star

As many of you know, we in southwest Lancaster County lost our battle on Aug. 15 at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission meeting on a 6-3 vote. We were opposed to Lincoln Premium Poultry and Costco's proposed industrial chicken barns, which would hold 190,000 chickens.

What everyone needs to realize is that these are the first of many Lincoln Premium Poultry and Costco chicken barns to come. They are planning on 488 63-by-600-foot buildings, meaning they need at least four such industrial barns on 120 farms.

Your neighborhood may be next. Costco and Lincoln Premium Poultry don't go to the neighbors and present a plan. The first sign that they are moving in will be the proposed zoning change sign -- that is rather late.

We in southwestern Lancaster County have not given up. The next step is to present our objections to Lancaster County commissioners. Now is the time for all residents of Lancaster County who are opposed to having four of these barns a quarter of a mile from their home to be heard.

Are you aware that there are no real rules or guidelines in Lancaster County for industrial chicken barns, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs? They are listed as feedlots.

Please write your commissioner, telling them you don't want to live next door to these barns and the associated risks to health, water quality, home values and more.

Request that Lancaster County set up its own rules instead of letting Costco make the guidelines. Our local government needs to take the responsibility of studying the consequences of industrial chicken barns.

Janis and Skeeter Howlett, Crete

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