Somerset County Approves New Poultry House Regulations - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Somerset County Approves New Poultry House Regulations

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Somerset County poultry house regulations require new setbacks, landscape buffers, and special public hearings for certain square footage (WBOC) Somerset County poultry house regulations require new setbacks, landscape buffers, and special public hearings for certain square footage (WBOC)

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- Stricter rules for poultry house operations are now in place in Somerset County. County Commissioners approved the new measures by a 3 to 1 vote Tuesday. 

The new regulations now requires 500 foot setbacks for tunnel fans from residences, 400 feet in distance from poultry buildings and off-site homes, landscaping buffers, and a special public hearing for poultry houses being built over 225,000 square feet, according to Somerset County Planning Director, Gary Pusey. 

Theresa Perdue and her family live on Backbone Road in Princess Anne, where they've seen a lot of poultry houses being built over the past few years. Theresa said she's not convinced the new measures benefit people living near poultry houses. 

"I think it might help a little bit, but it's not going to address the problem, but having the buffers will definitely be better," Perdue said. 

Health issues and air quality are at the top of many neighbors concerns. 

"After almost 20 years there's still no immunity to it, the summertime its just a god awful smell and that's not even including the dust and the feather and all," Perdue said. 

Lisa Inzerillo has been a vocal community advocate pushing for those concerns to be addressed; she's not happy with the new rules.

Inzerillo said, "We asked for a fair and balanced panel and we did not get it, and that's what really upsets me. They made little changes for as hard as all of our citizens worked to make something better for Somerset County, but no Somerset County doesn't want it."

Bill Satterfield with Delmarva Poultry Industry, the region's trade group said, "They believe the ordinance is reasonable, workable, and provides protection for neighbors and people wanting to build chicken houses."

Pusey said the new changes are stricter and something the county has never had before. The new ordinances will go into effect on October 1. 

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