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No new limits put on meat processing

September 24, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Commissioners Thursday placed no additional limits on a proposal to allow meat processing in the county and sent the proposal back to the county Planning Commission unchanged.

The proposed zoning amendment that would allow meat processing in the county has been controversial, and Commission President James K. Ruland had suggested putting a limit on the number of animals that could be cut and packaged at a site.

The limit could be put in place in addition to a Planning Commission requirement that 75 percent of the meat processed on a farm must be raised on the property.

The commissioners had discussed Ruland's suggestion during a work session last week, but they did not include it in a set of proposed zoning changes Thursday.

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The commissioners instead decided to leave practically the same language in the proposal that was drafted by the Planning Commission.

The commissioners did change some other zoning amendments.

When any changes are made, the commissioners are required to send the entire set of zoning amendments back to the Planning Commission.

It is uncertain how the Planning Commission will act on the changed amendments. The body has 45 days to file a report back to the commissioners.

Although commissioner James G. Knode said the meat processing amendment is not perfect, he said he disagrees with fears that the county could see large-scale commercial or "factory farming" if the proposal is passed.

There has been concern among the commissioners that the Planning Commission's language to limit the amount of meat processing on a farm would be difficult to enforce.

In addition to the requirement that 75 percent of meat processed be raised on-site, the proposal requires that beef and pork must be raised on the site for at least three months. Poultry must be raised on a site for two months.

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