Turkey houses, ACP on agenda

Published 12:43 pm Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Buckingham County Board of Supervisors is set to hold two public hearings Monday, the first including a zoning map amendment in order to operate two turkey houses, and the second from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) seeking variance from the Buckingham County Floodplain Ordinance to install 2 miles of pipeline construction and 1.2 miles of access roads.

The proposed turkey houses would be located at Route 622, Sharon Church Road in the northern portion of the county.

Applicant Joel Steinruck requested a rezoning for the 114.86-acre property from Agriculture-1 (A-1) to Agriculture Comprehensive (AC-1) for the purpose of operating turkey houses.

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“The rezoning to Agriculture Comprehensive for turkey houses was recommended for approval with a 6-0 vote,” Planning/Zoning Administrator Rebecca Cobb said in a previous Herald report.

“The application indicates that he will have approximately 30,000 turkeys and will be able to meet the ordinance setback requirements,” a past planning commission board packet cited.

There are seven conditions for the project that include that the turkey houses comply with federal, state and local regulations, including obtaining a Nutrient Management Plan and Erosion and Sediment Control Plan before installing the facility.The turkey houses, according to the applicant in the meeting board packet, will be 63 feet by 704 feet. Each house would contain approximately 15,000 birds, the packet cited. The operation of the houses will be family-run.

In reference to the floodplain, the ACP is seeking variance from the Buckingham County Floodplain Ordinance for the purpose of construction in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified floodplains, according to the meeting board packet.

“ACP has identified 6 locations that include 2 miles of pipeline construction and 1.2 miles of access roads in floodplains of the James River, North River, Slate River, Willis River, and Little Willis River,” the packet cited. “The application indicates that once construction is complete the original topographic conditions and contours will be restored. The request and maps are available in the office of the Zoning Administrator.”

KCI Technologies, Inc., Cobb said in a previous report, was hired to review documents related to the floodplain and provide an assessment of compliance or non-compliance with granting a variance for the county’s ordinance.

Cobb said that KCI conducted an initial review in June and found that there was insufficient information to grant a waiver to the floodplain ordinance, and said KCI met with ACP and requested further documentation.

Cobb said KCI provided a review dated Oct. 24.

“In summary, KCI reports that the documents they were given should not be accepted as justification of ‘no-rise’ because they do not meet industry standard,” the memo cited.

KCI proposed two options, according to the memo, to either provide conditional approval with final approval contingent upon proper documentation, or delay any decision until proper documentation is provided.

“ACP received a copy of the review and has responded with the attached letter dated November 1, 2018,” the memo cited. “In summary, ACP disagrees with KCI’s assessment and asserts there is no industry standard and they wish to move forward with a public hearing for the floodplain variance. ACP agrees to a conditional approval and has suggested some of their own conditions. Many of the conditions do align with KCI’s but not all are the same.”

The memo asked the Board of Supervisors to set a public hearing for the floodplain development request from ACP and to consider both sets of conditions.