Posted by: Patricia Salkin | June 3, 2009

Township Preempted From Enjoining a Proposed Hog-Feeding Operation

The owner of approximately 30 acres began construction of a 2,400-head hog operation at about the same time that the township adopted a zoning ordinance. The new zoning handbook prohibits concentrated livestock operations with more than 800 animals and imposes setbacks and screening requirements on smaller operations. The Township unsuccessfully sought an injunction and the appeals court affirmed, based on state statute in Missouri which prohibits townships from zoning “so as to impose regulations or to require permits with respect to land used or to be used for the raising of crops . . . or with respect to the erection, maintenance . . . of farm buildings or farm structures.” That portion of the zoning handbook that regulates farm structures that would be used for concentrated livestock operations  is invalid.

 Richland Township. v. Kenoma, LLC,2009 WL 709616 (MO. App. 3/19/2009)

 The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.courts.mo.gov/file/Opinion_SD29080.pdf


Responses

  1. Without having read the opinion or knowing anything about Missouri law, this opinion seems contrary to basic statutory construction. A town, whether home-rule or delegated, has the authority to establish land use laws pursuant to its police powers. Statutes limiting a jurisdiction’s ability to protect the public health, safety, and welfare should be read narrowly, not broadly. The township law, in this case, seems to have regulated animal production, not the size of the structure housing the animals. Thus, the farm structure was not at issue – the number of head was.


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