Board of Commissioners tabled livestock ordinance changes until next meeting

Published 8:00 am Saturday, February 19, 2022

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The Troup County Board of Commissioners tabled the first reading of a text amendment proposal Tuesday concerning the county’s livestock keeping ordinance.

The amendment would change how residents raise livestock for personal and commercial purposes but with several stipulations that would prevent potential spot zoning issues in the county.

Board members requested the item be tabled so that they had more time to review the specifics of the zoning and what should be allowed in terms of commercial and personal uses. The board is expected to discuss the item more at the next meeting.

The idea of keeping livestock has been an ongoing conversation for several years, said Community Development Director Troy Anderson.

Since 2008, the Community Development Office has received numerous public inquiries about why a rezoning effort took place to rezone large areas of agricultural to residential, Anderson said.

The rezoning has caused issues for residents who want to raise livestock on their land whether for commercial or personal use.

At the board’s last meeting, it approved an application to rezone a 32-acre plot of land from single family medium density to agricultural residential, allowing the land owner to raise livestock on the property. However, this created a spot zoning issue, which caused the parcel in question to be zoned differently than the surrounding parcels, Anderson said.

The modifications to the ordinance he proposed are meant to prevent similar spot zoning issues in the future. 

“Across the county, we know there were properties that were rezoned in the appropriate ways from agriculture to lakeside residential [and] agriculture to single family medium density,” Anderson said. “Our intent is to avoid [spot zoning] in the future by bringing our code more in line with what the specific uses are as of today.”

The current ordinance requires commercial livestock operations, including grazing, dairies, animal breeding, boarding or hatcheries to provide all structures or areas which house animals no closer than 200 feet from any property line.

The new changes are specific to residential properties, Anderson explained.

“Housing, specifically for chickens, would be 150 square feet [in size] and the setback from that area has to be 50 feet [from the property line,]” he said. “The owner for a residential would have to maintain a permit resident, while in a commercial [setting] it is not permitted for the property owner to live in and reside on that residence.”

The following shows where livestock raising will be allowed under which zoning with the text amendment proposal:

  • Agriculture – livestock raising permitted
  • Agriculture residential/USD – permitted under Agriculture residential/ not permitted under USD
  • Single family medium density – permitted
  • Lakeside residential – not permitted
  • Lakeside residential rural – not permitted
  • Rural Residential – permitted

The following shows where livestock raising is currently allowed under which zoning:

  • Agriculture – livestock raising permitted
  • Agriculture residential /USD – special use permit required/ not permitted
  • Single family medium density – not permitted
  • Lakeside residential – not permitted
  • Lakeside residential rural – not permitted
  • Rural Residential – not permitted