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Salem Property Owners Don't Want Turkey Farm Next Door

Last updated on Monday, December 31, 2012

(SALEM) - A Washington County property owner who recently learned that three turkey houses are to be constructed 20 feet from her property line took her concerns to the Washington County Commissioners.

The Leader- Democrate reports, Colleen Develin, who owns property on South Conway Church Road, told the commissioners that she and her neighbors are not happy. She says 16 people met recently to discuss their concerns and the group plans to attend the Jan. 15 meeting of the Washington County Plan Commission. The plan commission has been working on an ordinance establishing guidelines for land use pertaining to agricultural purposes.

Develin says she and her husband, Gary Barrigar, have lived there eight years, purchasing the property from Boyd and Byron McClellan.

The packet of information Develin prepared for the commissioners included a letter from the McClellans, whose families have farmed in the area more than 100 years. In the letter, the McClellans state their concerns about plans for the development, including lack of enforcement of the Clean Water Act and requires a construction plan outlining how erosion and sedimentation will be controlled; the McClellans state that the site is located in the drainage divide between the North Fork and South Fork of the Blue River watershed.

Develin told the commissioners that the adjoining property was sold in October to Keith and Susan Day and that her husband met them when they requested an easement so they could build a house on the property. Her husband agreed, Develin says, not realizing the owner was talking about building turkey houses for Farbest Foods.

In addition to environmental concerns, Develin cited concerns about the impact on property values, that they might not be able to sell their home.

Commissioner David Brown told Develin needed to take her concerns and information to the plan commission.

She also stressed she and her husband are not against farming in general, just this particular type of farming and that her family is immediately affected by the turkey farm because they are the closest neighbors.

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