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E-M:/ SB 205 Hearing WEDNESDAY 3PM - Seeks to Preempt LOCAL ZONING CONTROL OF ANY AGRIC.



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Enviro-Mich message from "Tom & Anne Woiwode" <woiwode@voyager.net>
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Enviro-Mich folks: 

A VERY troubling bill (SB 205) is to be heard in Senate Committee Wednesday
afternoon.  While advocates of sound land use are concerned about assuring
that agricultural activities and lands are protected from unreasonable
conflict with suburban sprawl, Senate Bill 205 is a sledge hammer approach
to a laser surgery problem.  The SB 205, transcribed in its entirety below,
seeks to preempt any local unit of government from using any zoning or noise
ordinances regarding agricultural activities.  The complete implications of
this bill are not clear, but it would seem to go so far as to prohibit any
local unit of government from, for example, prohibiting a large scale
Confined Animal Feeding Operation within a residential or commercial zone.

Since the Right to Farm Act in Michigan ALREADY provides virtually absolute
protection for any agricultural activity on land that is already being used
for farming activities, it is hard to envision why this bill is even being
considered.  Currently, the Right to Farm Act includes the ability for an
agricultural operation on farm lands to be dramatically expanded or modified
in ways that may have a significantly greater impact on neighbors yet be
totally protected from any nuisance claims already under the current law. In
fact, agricultural operators can sue for harassment people who file three
complaints against their operations if MDA fails to verify those complaints.

Up until now, the Right to Farm Act has allowed local communities to place
some restrictions on agricultural operations through their zoning
ordinances. Now, even these modest tools are in the crosshairs of those who
want unfettered agricultural operations, regardless of the impact on the
community.  This bill comes up as the disastrous flooding from Hurricane
Floyd in North Carolina has shown just how horribly bad land use decisions
regarding CAFOs can turn out.

Senate Bill 205 is scheduled in the Farming, Agribusiness and Food Systems
Committee on WEDNESDAY, SEPT 29, at 3 P.M. in the Senate Appropriations
Rooms, 3rd Floor of the Capitol Building.  SB 205 was introduced by two of
the three Majority members of the Committee, which gives it a significant
boost.  The notice for the hearing just came out in the last day or so,
making it hard to get advanced notice out to people.  If you can't attend,
let the Committee members know what you think of this bill.  If it passes
this committee, then the full Senate will be the next stop.

Committee members are: Senators McManus, Stille, Gougeon, Byrum and Hart


NOTE:  In the draft bill the CAPITALIZED letters are the proposed language
changes, and the strike out words are to be removed.

SENATE BILL NO. 205


   February 2, 1999, Introduced by Senators GOUGEON and MC MANUS
        and referred to the Committee on Farming, Agribusiness and
        Food Systems.



        A bill to amend 1981 PA 93, entitled

   "Michigan right to farm act,"

   by amending section 4 (MCL 286.474), as amended by 1995 PA 94.

               THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 1         Sec. 4.  (1)  This  EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
             SUBSECTION (2),

 2    THIS act does not affect the application of state statutes and

 3    federal statutes.

 4         (2) THIS ACT PREEMPTS PROVISIONS OF A ZONING ORDINANCE OR

 5    NOISE ORDINANCE THAT CONFLICT WITH THIS ACT.

 6         (3)  (2)  For purposes of this section,
              "state statutes"

 7     includes, but is not limited to,  "ZONING
                       ORDINANCE" MEANS AN

 8    ORDINANCE ADOPTED UNDER any of the following:

 9         (a) The county  rural zoning enabling act, Act No. 183
             of

10     the Public Acts of 1943, being sections 125.201 to 125.232
                       of the




   01417'99                                                 TMV


                                   2

 1    Michigan Compiled Laws  ZONING ACT, 1943 PA 183,
             MCL 125.201 TO

 2    125.240.

 3         (b) The township  rural  zoning act,
             Act No. 184 of the

 4     Public Acts of 1943, being sections 125.271 to 125.301 of
                       the

 5     Michigan Compiled Laws  1943 PA 184, MCL 125.271 TO
                       125.310.

 6         (c)  Act No. 207 of the Public Acts of 1921, being
             sections

 7     125.581 to 125.592 of the Michigan Compiled Laws
                       THE CITY AND

 8    VILLAGE ZONING ACT, 1921 PA 207, MCL 125.581 TO 125.600.

   01417'99          Final page.                            TMV


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