Officials in the town of Gardner are looking into establishing a mega-farm ordinance that would limit the development of large-scale animal operations.
Town Chair Jon Koch says the town is exploring the move on the recommendation of the Wisconsin Towns Association. He says local property owners also have asked the town to pursue it.
Koch says the town has received a draft ordinance from the WTA and town attorney Randy Nesbitt is reviewing it.
Koch says the town will also seek input from Bill Schuster of the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department.
Koch, who says they're looking at a 500-animal limit, says the move is not related to the pending expansion of Kinnard Farms in Kewaunee County.
"No, not at all," says Koch. "It was nothing to do with anybody else other than our own individual town. We have a mega-farm issue written up in our long-range plan but we don't necessarily have an ordinance for it."
In August, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approved a permit for the expansion of Kinnard Farms, a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Casco, but the permit is being challenged by neighbors. DNR Agriculture Specialist Casey Jones says Midwest Environmental Advocates is pursuing the petition on the neighbors' behalf. Jones tells us the DNR did grant some of the items in the petition so there may be a hearing scheduled in the near future.