State to deny application for AFO in Lockport Township

LOCKPORT TOWNHIP —An application that was recently submitted to the state for an AFO (Animal Feeding Operation) near Lutz and Hoshel roads will be denied, according to Lockport Township enforcement officer Doug Kuhlman.
“I do not have anything formal from the state yet, but the company indicated to me in an email that they received a call from the Department of Agriculture that this site was not going to be approved,” Kuhlman said. “I understand a letter is coming, but no one that I am aware of has a copy yet.”
Had the application been approved, the operator of the project was looking to house 600 calves. Kuhlman said while this particular application has been denied, the same party could look to other locations in St. Joseph County to conduct “similar or like projects.”
“The company that was assisting the property owner is out of Topeka, Ind. They assist property owners in the agricultural industry with a wide variety of assistance with various projects and programs. With that they could present themselves in other areas of the county with similar or like projects,” he said.
“With any CAFO (Confined Animal Feed Operation) or AFO these activities are all licensed through the State of Michigan Department of Agriculture under the Right to Farm Act. The Right to Farm Act preempts local zoning meaning that the township zoning has no authority in these situations.”
Alek Frost can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or alek@threeriversnews.com.

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