chicken houses

Don Rush

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is being asked to impose an injunction on 83 chicken farms in Accomack County.

The three page letter was sent by five residents of the Virginia Eastern Shore.

And a copy of the letter was also sent to Governor Ralph Northam.

The group is asking that there be an immediate injunction on any current and future groundwater taken from the Upper or Middle Yorktown aquifer until the chicken operations receive groundwater permits.

creative commons

The Somerset County Planning Commission heard residents last night speak out about the impact of the large chicken operations near their developments.

The commission has proposed increasing the setbacks of 400 feet from residential areas for new operations.

And for larger chicken growers the setback would be even greater.

WBOC reports that many neighbors wanted greater emphasis on setbacks and buffers as well air quality and water runoff.

A decision by county officials could come as earlier as two week from now as they review the public comments. 

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) - Changes may be on the horizon for poultry growers in Somerset County.

County commissioners are considering several zoning changes related to poultry operations, including increasing the required distance between chicken houses and neighboring properties.

At a meeting Tuesday, officials also will consider several other recommendations, including landscaping requirements and a proposal that ventilation fans be kept 1,000 feet away from adjacent properties.

Bay Journal

The development of the large chicken operations with as many as 10 houses has Delmarva officials scrambling to find ways to regulate them as local residents raise concerns ranging from the economic impact on housing prices to pollution and health risks. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with noted environmental author and Eastern Shore native Tom Horton on how he assesses the latest conflict.

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The Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder says Wicomico County must find a compromise between residents and poultry growers over the proposed mega-chicken house in Wicomico County.

In addressing the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce this week he said he recognized the importance of the poultry industry calling it “the lifeblood of the economy” on the Eastern Shore.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he added that there have to be parameters for such operations.

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There will be no moratorium on large chicken houses in Wicomico County.

Council president John Cannon told a meeting last night, that the council does not have enough information to impose one. 

Don Rush

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors has decided to impose tighter regulations on poultry houses.

They are believed to be the toughest rules for the poultry industry on Delmarva.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that under the ordinance approved on Wednesday the new regulations range from requiring a landscape plan and a maximum of five chicken houses per acre to increased setbacks from existing homes, mobile home parks and other structures.

There would also be a new 400-feeot setback from undeveloped property.

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With the debate heating up over a planned 13 house poultry operation in Wicomico County local leaders say they are going to work with the industry to come up more regulations for the industry.

Council President John Cannon said he was willing to look at greater setbacks and tougher buffering requirements for such operations.

The discussion at the County Council meeting yesterday saw Bill Satterfield with Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. at the table offering his group’s guidelines called “Good Neighbor Relations”.

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Last night a Somerset County Planning and Zoning hearing got an earful about concerns over the increasing number of chicken houses in the region.

WBOC reports that residents from Princess Anne called on the county commissioners to deal with issues ranging from noise and pollution to traffic and smells among other things.

A number of residents complained that they have been overrun by the chicken houses endangering their property values.

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Get ready, Accomack County for a chicken house invasion.

A new report says that there are 84 applications now pending for new poultry houses.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that’s in addition to up to 72 that an out-of-state producer has asked about building.

The new report from the County Planning Department found there has been a dramatic rise in the number of new poultry houses since 2014.

The paper says that the report found only 16 houses had been built between 2010 and 2014.

But, in November of 2014 it said 12 applications were approved.