Oglethorpe County Grapples with Request for New Chicken Houses

Some Oglethorpe County residents are unhappy about the possibility of building 12 new chicken houses off of Comer Road, north of Oglethorpe County High School and south of Watson Mill Bridge State Park. An application was submitted to rezone a plot of land in Oglethorpe County from General Agriculture (A2) to Intensive Agriculture (A1). If approved, it would allow for these new chicken houses to be built.

During a zoning board meeting Monday night, community members addressed their concerns about foul odors, air pollution and contaminated water that they think could result from these chicken houses. They also they think these structures will be too large and too close to residences.

Board members were divided on what to do, so no action was taken. Oglethorpe County Administrator Josh Hawkins says that he has never experienced this before, so he is working to determine the next steps. Hawkins says that according to his count using Geographic Information Systems, there are now 378 chicken houses in Oglethorpe County, but the county guide says that as of 2012, there are 737 chicken houses in the county. Hawkins says he does not think the county guide number is correct, and he is unsure how they came up with their calculation.

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