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Proposed hog farm near in Hawcreek Township still in limbo

A proposed hog farm in Hawcreek Township is still in limbo after Monday night's meeting of the Bartholomew County Board of Zoning Appeals. A standing-room only crowd filled the fourth-floor meeting room at the County Government Office Building, nearly all staying until the meeting ended some five-and-a-half hours later.   

The board, which consisted of only three voting members due to one member declaring a conflict-of-interest and another on vacation, heard a request from Jeff Shoaf to allow a variance that would allow him to begin a confined feeding operation (CFO) on 74 acres on County Road 800 North, west of State Road 9. The letter of the law states that a CFO must be at least one-half mile (2,640 feet) from a Single Family Residential zoning district. The closest point of the Shoaf's property is 2,231 feet from the settlement of 21 houses known as St. Louis.

The board heard from members of the public, both for, and against, the project. In the end, it was a battle of wills between members of the board. The actual location of the CFO would be far enough away (2,647 feet) to meet the half-mile requirement. The board went back-and-forth over the intent of the ordinance, finally voting to actually hear the request for Shoaf's variance just after midnight. While the vote was two-to-one in favor of granting the ordinance, a minimum of three votes is required to pass. The failure of the board to reach that number means the request will come up again at the board's July 21 meeting. Board members indicated that they were hopeful that they would have at least four voting members on this date.  

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 12:47:14 AM

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