Silver Creek Township Planning Commission discusses proposed poultry farm

Published 11:46 am Friday, May 26, 2023

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SILVER CREEK TOWNSHIP — The Silver Creek Township Planning Commission met Wednesday night to discuss ongoing business regarding the proposed Silver Creek Poultry, LLC commercial poultry farm.

Discussing similar operations, the commission discussed differences between indoor and outdoor farming operations, with the commission discussing the aesthetic benefits of indoor livestock operations.

Citing community concerns, the commission discussed the smell and sound that might come from the farm. There was significant discussion between commission members about what the operation might do to local lakes and the environment. 

Commissioner Veronnica Kenreich, who also works with the Cass County Conservation District, said that the farmer has complied with requirements regarding water and waste storage, but said that the county should place more concern over a county regulated oversight for the health of local lakes and bodies of water. 

The commission responded to an email from a resident asking the commission to revise an ordinance that could prevent the construction of large operation livestock farms in the future. The commission reviewed township ordinances, but noted that the state’s Right to Farm laws might make changes redundant. 

Commission members decided to consult with township officials before making a definitive statement on the inquiry. 

Additionally, commission members discussed potential new ordinances related to short-term rentals in the township.

Commission members reviewed neighboring township’s rules regarding short term rentals, paying close attention to the different regulations about the occurrence and duration of these rentals. 

Ultimately, it was decided that commission members would review the ordinances of neighboring townships and bring in what they believed would work in Silver Creek at the next meeting for more discussion. 

In other business, the commission made the decision to consult multiple land development firms as they work to update the township’s master plan. Commission members chose to reach out to several local firms, some of which have been used for previous master plans, before making the final decision of who will work on the next one

The current master plan, a comprehensive plan regarding a township’s plan for land use and development, was created in accordance with Cass County in 2014 and is due to be revised in the upcoming year.