Committee favors extending moratorium for large livestock facilities
Resolution for additional 6-month ban forwarded to County Board
BY KEVIN BONESKE
After holding a public hearing Wednesday, the Oneida County Planning and Development Committee voted in favor of a six-month extension on the current county ban for allowing additional farming operations with 500 or more “animal units.”
The county’s present one-year moratorium is set to expire next February. The committee has forwarded a resolution with a six-month extension to the full County Board, which doesn’t have another meeting scheduled until next month, to set the expiration date to Aug. 9, 2017.
“You don’t want moratoriums in place for long periods of time, because it looks like you’re just throwing a roadblock,” said county planning and zoning director Karl Jennrich. “You should a sunset clause in any moratorium to show that you’re making progress.”
Last January, the County Board passed a resolution to impose the moratorium to prohibit new livestock facilities of 500 or more animal units, for which the definition takes into account the types of animals to assign a numerical value per animal, to provide time to determine whether the county’s zoning and shoreland protection ordinance should be amended or a livestock facilities zoning ordinance should be created to protect public health or safety.
Jennrich, who requested the moratorium extension, contacted the county’s townships related to large-scale farming operations known as concentrated animal feeding operations. He noted correspondence he received from the towns of Three Lakes, Lake Tomahawk, Pine Lake, Newbold, Hazelhurst and Woodruff all favored extending the moratorium.
Concerns have been raised elsewhere in the state about the potential problems with locating a large-scale farming operation, such as with a proposal to locate a pig farm in Bayfield County.
DRIVE-THRU PIZZA RESTAURANT
Committee members also held a public hearing Wednesday when they approved a conditional use permit sought by Tina Rydzik to operate a pizza restaurant with drive-thru services at the site of the former Mid-Wisconsin bank in Lake Tomahawk.
Conditions for the restaurant, which will not be seeking a beer or liquor license to operate, include being allowed to stay open until midnight.