While some measures are restrictive, the ordinance is fairly lax when it comes to farms. “We’re probably the least restrictive law in Indiana on agriculture,” said Taylor. “We tried to protect farmers and keep it as simple as possible. We don’t want to run people’s property.”
The ordinance even has extra provisions protecting farm operations. One part warns people who move into homes in areas marked agriculture that they should expect potential livestock smells, chemicals and dust associated with farming. “We want to protect our ag heritage,” said Helms.
The new ordinance will not mean any immediate changes. “All of the ways property is now being used will be grandfathered in,” said Helms.
The ordinance headed to the commissioners for their Sept. 9 meeting is not set in stone. The public can review it at the Auditor’s Office. “I wish people would have been at the meetings to comment on it,” said Taylor. “It’s been a long process. If people have an opinion they can look at the ordinance and then contact their commissioner.”
“The commissioners can either accept, reject, or send it back to the advisory committee for more revisions,” added Helms.
Once the ordinance goes into effect the county will have some other tasks. One will be to establish a board of zoning appeals. Another will be to hire someone to handle the permitting, act as a liason, and investigate possible violations.