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New Rules But No Moratorium for Large Chicken Houses in Wicomico

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There will be no moratorium on large chicken houses in Wicomico County.

Council president John Cannon told a meeting last night, that the council does not have enough information to impose one. 

Instead, the Salisbury Daily Times reports that the council is considering enacting a set of proposals that would range from a minimum 200-foot setback from all property lines including road and setbacks of 400 feet from schools, churches, daycare centers and similar types of buildings to a 500-foot setback from if their exhaust fans face away from other buildings and a 600 foot if they are aimed directly at them.

Plans for a 10 house chicken operation along Naylor Mill Road has raised concerns by local citizens about the health and environmental impact of these operations -- especially near resident areas.

There would also be a requirement for a proposal in designated growth areas around county's towns and cities.

As for health and environment issues, Cannon said the county's actions were limited by federal and state regulations that keep local restrictions not to be more stringent.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.