The aspects of the first item on the agenda have been discussed in the past at the Commissioners meeting, the drainage board, and the BZA. It was continued at the request of the petitioner until the next meeting.
The second item, the Recovery House proposal, was the subject of a long and contentious meeting last month. The BZA decided to postpone a decision then, but was ready to decide this month. They approved the variance to allow more than a single family home on the property, but put two restrictions on it. It will be for two years and then must be renewed, and no more than eight clients are to be in the facility. With the granting of the use variance a big group of people left, but there were still people standing around the edges of the room.
The last item was for a variance for a proposed hog farm, but because it has been customary to do the rezoning before the variance, the BZA meeting recessed and the Plan Commission convened. They also elected a chair. The previous chair, Sandra Putt, said she did not want the position again, the group elected Gerritt DeVries as chair.
The only item on the Plan Commission agenda was a rezone from A1 (general agriculture) to A3 (intensive agriculture), and this rezone is needed for a confined feeding operation. The proposed hog farm surprised me because the hogs that are to be raised there were not meant for the butcher, but for medical research.
company that will own the farm already runs a hog raising operation in Ramona, California, and a picture of that facility is shown in the slide above. (The petitioners had an impressive slide presentation.) Ramona is on the outskirts of San Diego and there are many residences within a mile of the S&S Farm. The proposed site for this farm is on the south west corner of CR 400 N and 200W in Barkley Township. It is a 220 acre plot a couple miles west of Gifford.
Yucatan pigs, which are pigmy pigs that weigh less than 200 pounds at maturity and seem to be raised primarily for medical research.
Another difference with this proposed farm is that it will hire more people than a typical hog farm would. The manager of the project projects that if the facility is fully built out, it would hire 21 people. The project is planned in four stages, largely to test the market. The first stage is shown in red in the picture below and stage two in green.