Lancaster supervisors delay decision on farmer’s request to rezone for pigs

by Audrey Thomasson

LANCASTER—A farmer’s request to add a few pigs to a small, established farm in District 3 near Kilmarnock was hogtied at last week’s board of supervisors’ meeting.

District 1 supervisor Butch Jenkins led a discussion which resulted in a postponement of the request by Carolyn Quinn of Dug in Farms to rezone nearly nine acres off Fleets Bay Road in order to expand her vegetable, flower and egg farm to include pigs.

Jenkins questioned the possibility of Quinn further expanding the farm.

“I’m limited by what one person can handle,” said Quinn. She noted she handles the farm by herself with some seasonal help from interns.

Jenkins said a rezoning request from residential to general agriculture (A-2) would result in the county losing control of having a say on further expansion on the property should Quinn pass away or sell. He suggested that she either apply for a special exception permit, which would limit future expansion to the current request, or offer a similar proffer with the current request.

County attorney James Cornwell quickly intervened, saying that the county could not by law request a proffer, and that it was entirely up to Quinn whether she wanted to offer one or not.

“While these parcels are in close proximity to Kilmarnock town limits and are in our primary growth area, the request is in keeping with the major theme expressed during the last two revisions of the Comprehensive Plan to retain the rural character and heritage of Lancaster County,” said director of planning and land use Don Gill.

He noted he had heard from two neighbors who supported the measure and that the planning commission gave its unanimous support.

Board chairman and District 4 representative William Lee said the property has a history of farming and livestock. The late Dr. Morgan E. Norris kept cows on the property, but due to drainage problems, the land could only accommodate a very limited number of livestock.

While Jenkins claimed he supported Quinn’s efforts, he suggested the request be tabled for “a month or two” to allow time for Quinn to consider the best direction to pursue.

The vote passed 4-1 with District 3 supervisor Jason Bellows voting against. After the meeting, Bellows said he fully supported Quinn’s request as presented.