The proposed Yankton County zoning changes for Article 5 will come before the Planning Commission on June 8 and to the County Commission in July. I am deeply concerned about many of these proposed changes. However, the most appalling and dangerous change is the adoption of what is called “Special Permitted Uses.”
“Special Permitted Uses” have never been used before in our Yankton County Zoning Ordinance, and for good reason. They explicitly deny any public notification or citizen input into projects, specifically new or expanding concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Under the proposed zoning changes, Special Permitted Uses will take our planning commissioners, county commissioners, and most importantly, the public completely out of the zoning process. Public meetings and open discussions will be replaced with secret meetings. Instead of elected officials voting in public, one person will decide what, if any, protection the citizens of Yankton County deserve to protect themselves from CAFOs. The decisions will be made out of the public eye and behind closed doors. What could possibly go wrong?
One county commissioner said, “If it meets the checklist, it will be approved.” But at this point, the Special Permitted Uses checklist does not even exist!
If the proposed changes move forward and are adopted, the only time neighbors or landowners will know a new CAFO has moved next door to them (or significantly expanded) is after construction has already started. Unfortunately, by that time it will be much too late to appeal any decision, ask for any protections, or even be allowed to speak for or against the project. This proposed adoption of Special Permitted Uses is simply un-American!
Contact your county commissioners today and tell them to keep “Special Permitted Uses” out of our zoning!