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Delay On Ruling For Brownstown Hog Operation

Last updated on Thursday, August 16, 2012

(BROWNSTON) - Jackson County Board of Zoning Appeals on Tuesday night tabled consideration of a special exception for a proposed hog farm near Brownstown.

Aubrey Woods of the Tribune reports that the county Board of Zoning Appeals is charged with deciding whether Grant VonDielingen can have a special exception for his proposal. And it appears that they ran into two snags on Tuesday night.

One snag occured when board member Frances Elliott recused himself from the vote because he has ties with Jackson-Jennings Co-op, which is backing VonDielingern's proposal.

The board was to replace Elliott with Bill Burnside who is a member of the county plan's commission and that didn't get done because it must be approved by the commission, which wasn't done.

Another problem was that county attorney John Rothring was not present because his mother had passed away.

The request will now be heard by the board at its Sept. 11 meeting. That session is now scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Jackson Circuit Court, but the location may change.

Board member Gene Speaker suggested the board consider postponing the meeting to give the plan commission a chance to properly appoint Elliott's replacement.

Jason Fee, who was appointed by county com¬missioners to replace board member James Lucas, said he would feel more comfort¬able with the board's attor¬ney present, especially when it comes to ensuring proper procedure was followed.

Speaker's motion, seconded by Mike Reynolds, called for the board to take up VonDielingen's request at its September meeting.

Weir, however, said he likely will seek a still larger venue for that Sept. 11 meeting.

"The way people were packed in there and standing in the hallway, I think we need a bigger room," he said.

The meeting had been moved from a smaller room at the courthouse annex to the courthouse because of the anticipated turnout of people both opposed to and in favor of VonDielingen's request.

The Brownstown Chamber of Commerce and Brownstown Town Council have made public statements supporting VonDielingen's request but not its location within a mile of the county seat.

They have been joined by others living in the area who have expressed concerns about the location. Their concerns include lower home values and the resulting loss of property taxes, potential pollutants in the air and water and the potential for lost tourism dollars.

VonDielingen has said he spent more than a year looking for a location, and the one selected was the most feasible and economical for his operation.

The property sits south of U.S. 50, about a mile east of Brownstown. It's also about a mile from the Lake & Forest Club housing addition.

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