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County to hold public hearing on new feedlot ordinance

Fri, Jun 20th, 2003
Posted in Features

Fillmore County feedlot officer Mike Frauenkron reviewed a new proposed feedlot ordinance at last week’s meeting of the Fillmore County Planning Commission. The proposed ordinance will go to public hearing on July 17.

The purpose of the new ordinance is to align the current Fillmore County feedlot ordinance with both the latest state feedlot rules and some new odor monitoring technology from the University of Minnesota that, when implemented, will have the potential of reducing the setback requirements of a feedlot from a residential home.

The odor monitoring model, as presented by Mr. Frauenkron, allows the feedlot officer to input site-specific information about a feedlot into the computer program, and ultimately receive a computer-calculated setback distance between the feedlot and adjacent homes, cities, schools, churches, or other non-farm buildings.

The odor model also has the potential of increasing the setback distance for larger feedlots, but the county would have the flexibility of determining that setback distance based on a range of options that quantify odor tolerance.

The model is based on studies conducted at the University of Minnesota that were partially funded by the pork industry. The planning commission heard a presentation on the model last year, and the model is now being incorporated into the language of the new proposed county feedlot ordinance.

"The idea of using this model is to do away with the 1,000-foot setback," declared the feedlot officer. "This would allow smaller feedlots to sell off some building sites."

In his presentation, Mr. Frauenkron pointed out that the models show a major reduction in the odor factor if pork producers install a biofilter on their containment buildings, thus yielding a shorter setback distance requirement.

The proposed feedlot ordinance still maintains a 2,000 animal unit cap on feedlots in the county, and is only applicable to feedlots that exceed 50 animal units, unless located in the Shoreland District where a feedlot of 10 animal units or greater would be required to comply with the ordinance.

Copies of the proposed feedlot ordinance are available at the feedlot officer’s office in Preston. The public hearing will be on July 17 at the Fillmore County Office Building.

Other business…

The planning commission also approved two conditional use permits for country inns, a new designation that has been added to the ordinance. The permits were approved for Berwood Hill Inn near Preston and the Gourmets’ Garden in Harmony Township. Different from a Bed and Breakfast, a Country Inn is allowed to host dinners and other events where guests are not required to stay overnight.

The commission also approved language on three new ordinance amendments regarding the county airport, telecommunications towers, and large assemblies. These amendments will also go to public hearing on July 17. Copies of the amendments are available in the zoning office at the courthouse.

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