Wicomico Co. to Review Chicken House Zoning Rules - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico Co. to Review Chicken House Zoning Rules

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Wicomico County poultry house.  (Photo: WBOC) Wicomico County poultry house. (Photo: WBOC)

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - With a Virginia family proposing to build 13 poultry houses on a Wicomico County farm, county leaders are going to at least review their zoning rules for the construction of new poultry houses.

Currently in Wicomico County, these are the zoning regulations for new poultry houses: "Setback Requirements. Poultry houses shall be setback a minimum of one hundred (100) feet from all property lines."

20 years ago, Charles Wright built his first four houses in Wicomico County.  Wright said there are zoning regulations he needed too and still adheres to from the county and the company he grows for.

"Yeah there are setbacks that are in there and the companies, like we grow for Perdue, they've got their stricter setbacks from property lines and your joining neighbors," Wright told WBOC on Monday.

With the proposed 13 poultry house farm on North West Road just west of the city of Salisbury, the Wicomico County Council will discuss the current zoning regulations for large poultry house operations at Tuesday's regular county council meeting.

A review of the zoning regulations is something some have been calling for for quite some time.

"The Wicomico Environmental Trust has been advocating for years that we take a serious look at what's going on because both industry and agriculture development is going much faster than the zoning regulations has kept up with," said John Groutt of the Wicomico Environmental Trust.

Wright said if Wicomico County is to make changes or additions to its zoning regulations, he believes there is a template already in place that would make things uniform for everyone and easy to follow.

"I think the county should take the lead from the Delmarva Poultry Industry and go with those suggestions from DPI have been gathered from counties across the shore and working with all the integrators and with all the storm water management regs," Wright said.

Tuesday's county council meeting begins at 10 AM.  There is word yet on whether the discussion will lead to any zoning changes in Wicomico County.

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