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Bartholomew County hog farms up for discussion

A controversial hog farm proposal for eastern Bartholomew County will be heard at a special meeting next week of the county Board of Zoning Appeals, instead of at tonight's regularly scheduled meeting.

However a second hog farm proposal will be up for discussion tonight.

Jeff Bergman, director of the city and county planning departments, said the board decided to break out the proposal for a 4,000 hog farm into a separate meeting because of the intense public interest in the proposal.

The Gelfius family had proposed the operation on County Road 200N near Anderson Falls Park earlier this year, but neighbors came out in droves to oppose it. Mostly they were concerned about the environmental and health impacts, such as the odors and health problems from the large amount of manure and the effect on the well water. The proposal was withdrawn and under rules from the county board of zoning appeals, that would normally mean a request couldn't be considered for another year.

However, the board decided last month to accept the family's request to rehear the proposal.

Bergman said the board was expecting similar levels of interest for the revised proposal and scheduled the special meeting to accommodate those interested.

"I think we can anticipate a lot of discussion about what a confined feeding operation is, and how it operates and what some of the issues might be surrounding that," Bergman said. "We will also talk about typical land use issues about traffic and what some of the impacts might be on neighboring property owners."

A second hog operation will be considered tonight. Jeff Shoaf has applied to construct a confined feeding operation in the 11400 block of East County Road 800N in Hawcreek Township.

The Board of Zoning Appeals meets at 7 p.m. tonight at the Bartholomew County Governmental Office Building on Third Street. A special meeting to hear the Gelfius proposal will be at 6 p.m. next Monday in the Columbus City Hall meeting room.
Last Updated: Monday, June 23, 2014 7:37:22 AM

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