Couple drop bid for hog farm: Opposition reason behind withdraw

Steadfast opposition from some nearby property owners led a rural Seymour couple to withdraw their request to operate a 4,000-head confined animal feeding operation in Hamilton Township.

Jackson County Board of Zoning Appeals was scheduled to consider a request for a special exception for the hog barn from Nathan and Gwendolyn Newkirk during its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Instead, the Newkirks will appear to withdraw the request, Jo Forister, secretary of the Jackson County Department of Planning and Zoning, said Wednesday.

Opposition from neighboring property owners led to that decision, Nathan Newkirk said Thursday. Public reaction to a similar request this summer concerning a proposed hog farm near Brownstown likely hurt his plans, he added.

“When I first started in April, I went to talk with people who lived the closest, and most didn’t have any problem with it,” Newkirk said. “So we did some planning, and then at the (Jackson County Plan Commission) meeting, I found that some of them had changed their minds and were against me on it.”

Newkirk said he tried to answer their concerns but decided he could not and determined his best step was to withdraw the request.

“Some of their concerns were so far off of reality, I just couldn’t answer them,” he said. “I would sure like to put one there or on another piece of property, but I think you’re going to run into the same problem.”

Reaction against the hog farm disappoints the family.

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