Planning and Zoning for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

PAS Report 482

By James Schwab, FAICP

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Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have generated more land-use controversy than most rural areas have seen in decades. They often locate in communities that lack the planning and zoning tools to deal with their impacts. Matters are often complicated by state laws limiting local zoning authority over agriculture.

This report examines the regulatory options open to rural communities, the practical challenges of acquiring needed expertise to evaluate proposed uses, and the environmental and social impacts that can be expected from this industry. It offers regulatory alternatives for local communities based on the realities of their own legal and enforcement capacities. 

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Dec. 1, 1998
Adobe PDF

Table of Contents

1. The rear-view mirror and the road ahead
Industry trends • Changes in rural society • The road ahead

2. Key issues
Environmental issues • Economic Issues

3. The federal response
The Clean Water Act • The Unified National Strategy • Summary

4. State responses
The zoning debate • Nuisance laws • Corporate farming restrictions • Environmental permitting • Financial and technical assistance • Definitions • Lagoon cleanup

5. Local government resources
Comprehensive plan considerations • Zoning for CAFOs • Health and environmental standards

Appendix A List of references

Appendix B Sample ordinances