County planning commission addresses manure composting

    Chase County’s Planning Commission will seek further input from planning consultants before developing zoning regulations on manure composting.
    The commission held a public hearing Tuesday to discuss  the need to add manure composting to its zoning regulations.
    More than 25 people attended the meeting with most coming from the rural area northwest of Imperial.
    That’s the area where an organic dairy company has purchased a number of irrigated quarters for the eventual production of organic corn and alfalfa.
    In addition, the company has indicated a desire to establish a 1,000-head organic dairy on the land tract.
    A company spokeswoman said the dairy would compost its manure for later application to their organic fields. No  commercial fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides can be used on organically-certified ground.
    The company has already been composting some manure on their property northwest of Imperial.
    With the possibility of large-scale composting, neighboring landowners brought it to the attention of the planning commission that no zoning regulations govern composting.
    Charley Colton, chair of the planning commission, said composting wasn’t addressed when zoning regulations were initially adopted or when they were last revised in 2010.
    While there is specific concern from neighboring landowners, Colton told the crowd the commission must adopt zoning regs on composting applicable to all of Chase County, rather than on who may be doing it.  
    After nearly two hours of discussion, Commission Member Shona Heim recommended the board get further input from their planning consultant Marvin Keith of David City.

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