The Oneida County Board this week extended for up to one year a moratorium on the siting of large livestock facilities in the county until rules can be worked out and approved.
Planning and Zoning Director Karl Jenrich outlines the proposal...
"We did have a moratorium in 2016, extended in 2017. That has since expired. So the (Planning and Development) committee felt it would be appropriate to re-institute a moratorium to give the committee and myself time to draft some type of language to address the concerns of some of these larger confined feed lot operations..."
The moratorium would affect operations that have 500 or more animals. Jenrich says the committee will be looking at the zoning districts within the county's ordinances to see what is allowed. He says they may recommend modifying rules in those districts to prohibit commercial agriculture districts. Jenrich says one area of focus are the towns in Oneida county that are not zoned, Enterprise, Monico, and Sugar Camp.
Manure storage is a concern...
"Some of the concerns that were brought up by the un-zoned towns and some of the smaller operators of some beef and horse operations are related to what we call 'unconfined manure stacks'..."
Jenrich says the planning is designed to protect Oneida county residents, not simply to put in a moratorium. Supervisor Ted Cushing said changes in state law allows the counties to regulate large animal operations through zoning.
The board approved the moratorium.