Letter: County must strive to do better on minimum CAFO lot size

From: Ann Jones


I have significant concerns regarding the compromise on CAFOs. Generally speaking, the larger the CAFO minimum lot size ordinance the better it is for the neighbors. The smaller the minimum lot size the worse it is for the neighbors.

There are 23 counties in Indiana with CAFO minimum lot size ordinances. They range from 4 acres in Noble County to 120 acres in LaGrange and Posey counties. Bartholomew County’s current ordinance is a minimum of 5 acres. There is only one county lower than us (Noble County).

The Bartholomew County Plan Commission is proposing a new minimum lot size of 10 acres. With that ordinance there will be only two counties lower than Bartholomew County. We will then go from being second worst in the state to third worst. Not much of an improvement is it?

More than half of the counties in the state with minimum lot size ordinances have requirements of 40 acres or more. Why are we not to be counted in that group? Why are we in Bartholomew County not learning from Indiana counties that have already solved some CAFO problems? Why are the commissioners and the planning department not searching for best practices in this area?

We pride ourselves in our county and city for being among the best in many areas, and we embrace the concept of continuous improvement. In the area of CAFO minimum lot size requirements we are among the worst in the state and striving to stay there.This does not reflect an emerging and engaged community.

(The information here came from a recent report by the Purdue Department of Agriculture. It was authored by Paul Ebner.)