County mulls animal processing in agricultural areas


HANCOCK COUNTY — Planning officers are think abouting a rule change Which might permit authorities To imagine about, on a case-by-case basis, requests to course of animals in agricultural areas.

County legal guidelines presently solely permit animal merchandise course ofing in places zoned inmudrial widespread, and solely after a particular exception is granted by the Hancock County Board of Zoning Appeals.

The apply Isn’t permitted in areas with agricultural zoning, famous Mike Dale, authorities director of the Hancock County Space Plan Fee.

“I’ve said to the plan commission many occasions earlier than, I do think about agriculture as an inmudrial zoning district,” Dale informed plan commission members On their current meeting. “There’s heavy gear, there’s noise, there’s mud And so forth. And so I might advocate That you merely’d entertaInside The thought of permitting animal merchandise course ofing, not simply as an selection Inside the IG (inmudrial widespread) zone, However in addition as an selection Inside the county’s agricultural A zone.”

Such an modification would permit the county’s board of zoning appeals To Take heed to requests for animal course ofing from agriculturally zoned property house personalers and weigh any considerations from neighbors.

“Some circumstances Might be worthy of approving, others might not, but A minimal of it provides them an avenue,” Dale said.

One agricultural Hancock County landpersonaler who’d like that avenue is Steve Rusche, who’s had about 35 acres Inside the southern An factor of the county for over 25 yrs, the place he and his household enhance livestock thOn they butcher and course of For his or her very personal features.

“There Seems to be a rising want Inside the county For people who can do course ofing, particularly People who discover themselves Looking for one-off, what we name custom-made butchering,” Rusche said. “We’re not Looking for any retail gross sales or somefactor of that nature. Very small-scale.”

He famous meat lockers Inside The world are booked a yr or two out.

Rusche added the U.S. Division of Agriculture and Indiana State Board of Animal Well being have been to his property and are glad Collectively with his plans, but one area left to look at is To Guarantee he’s within county zoning guidelines.

Alongside Collectively with his land, the land round his is zoned agricultural as properly.

“It’s in all probability unlikely we’re going to get rezoned to inmudrial for one small, little piece,” Rusche said. “And we’re doing one factor we think about is an agriculture operation, has been eternally — course ofing beef, hogs, deer. … We now have expertise doing it and We will do it The biggest method, the protected method. Hopefully it fills A necessity Contained in the group as properly.”

Plan commission members have been open to the rule change, particularly When it Includes properties Just like the Rusches’.

“They’re terribly rural,” member Invoice Spalding said. “That Can be An best area.”

Tom Nigh, president of the plan commission, agreed meat course ofing Is very Needed Inside The world. It was Definitely one of many motivations talked about earlier this summer time for a enterprise meat course ofing facility accredited on inmudrially zoned land in Maxproperly.

“I do know there’s An exact demand,” Nigh said.

He additionally agreed it wouldn’t be sensible To vary the Rusches’ land to inmudrial So as to pave The biggest method for the zoning appeals board To imagine about an exception for animal course ofing.

“We don’t Need to decide-zone,” Nigh said.

A public listening to on amending the county’s zoning code To permit animal course ofing to be thought-about as a particular exception in agriculturally zoned areas Is about for the plan commission’s meeting later this month, which is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26 On the Hancock County Courthouse Annex, 111 American Legion Place, Greenarea. The plan commission will vote to ship the proposed change with a constructive, adverse or no advocateation to the Hancock County Board of Feeers, which could approve the modification in November. That would, On the soonest, permit the board of zoning appeals To start out think abouting agriculturally zoned properties for particular exceptions for animal course ofing in January 2022, As a Outcome of the board doesn’t meet in December.

“Hopefully That might not a controversial factor,” Rusche said. “This Appears like an ag exercise in an ag-zoned area.”


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