There will be a planning meeting on Tues. March 22 at 5:45 at the Fort White public library (17700 S W St Hwy 47 Fort White FL 32038 .) This is in preparation for the land use workshop with the county officials on Tues. March 29 in Lake City at 9 am.
Even though the chicken factory appears to be established, we want to take action to change the Ag-3 zoning to prevent any such similar fiasco from being built in the future. This meeting in Fort White is open to anyone who has an interest in keeping our land use as rural residential and not CAFOs or industry.
For those who are concerned about allowing large intensive businesses on top of the high recharge for the Floridan Aquifer, in the springsheds and watersheds for the rivers in Columbia County, this meeting is for you.
Columbia County has finally agreed to give the citizens of Fort White a chance to review Comprehensive Plans and LDRs. As residents of Fort White and land owners, we want changes to those plans that govern our community land use that have direct impacts to our watersheds.
The problem Fort White faced with an intensive chicken CAFO being put half way between the Town of Fort White and the Santa Fe River is that there was NEVER a posting of the land use changes.
While this land was listed as AG-3 zoning in the Comp Plan, the fact is the land was fallow, timbered (and never replanted) years before the purchase of the new owners, and nearly 100% of the 77 acres of land use was changed to construct 12 football field sized poultry buildings, There are at least 3 HOA in the vicinity and one of those is an abutting neighbor.
And very, very few neighbors, if any at all, knew anything about this “new” business until about 3 months into the project, after the land had been cleared, fill dirt brought in and construction material piled up waiting for workers.
He read us the “Right To Farm Act” from his dais.
And that was that, Fort White and river and springs were screwed.
1. OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES FOR RURAL AREAS
ARTICLE 6 – HIGH NATURAL GROUNDWATER AQUIFER RECHARGE AND POTABLE WATER WELL FIELD REGULATIONS
Sec. 6.1. – High natural groundwater aquifer recharge protection.
ARTICLE 12 – APPEALS, SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS, VARIANCES AND INTERPRETATIONS
Sec. 12.2. – Special exceptions.