The Upson County Planning Commission recently granted a variance for Billy Thompson to allow for a dry stackhouse for his chicken farm located on Morgan Road. The 40x40 structure is to be used to store litter until it can be sold or used as fertilizer and the problem arose when it was discovered the placement of the building would not meet zoning requirements of a 200 feet setback from each property line.
During the May meeting of the Planning Commission, Thompson told the board that he bought the property in May of 2012 from the bank after it had been foreclosed on and according to the deed, all easements and codes are in alignment with current protocol. He stated that it is his understanding if the land is not in compliance, then the buyers is supposed to be informed of that. It was not until he visited the Planning and Zoning Director Doug Currier to obtain a building permit that he was told the land was illegally split which caused the property to not allow for enough space for the setback which was established in 2004. Currier noted during the previous meeting that the split of the land was done three years after the ordinance was put in place, meaning it was not grandfathered in or anything.
Thompson stated that this farm was his livelihood and not being granted the variance to build the stackhouse would cause a hardship.
“I’m not at fault, you (the board) are not at fault and Mr. Currier isn’t at fault. I just don’t want to be punished for something that slipped through the cracks,” said Thompson.
He also noted that without the granting of the variance, he would have no choice but to stack the litter in front of the chicken houses until it was sold, which he was sure would cause more complaints from the community.
Planning Commission member Andrew Pippin asked if there had been any citizens to speak against the placement of the stackhouse. Currier stated that there had not heard from anyone. On that note, a motion was made to grant the variance and allow Thompson to build the stackhouse and it was passed unanimously.