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Farmers oppose zoning policies in Yankton County, SD

YANKTON, S.D. (KTIV) – Farmers in Yankton County, South Dakota, will have to wait at least another two weeks before they hear a decision, they say, affects the way they do their job.

Tuesday night, local farmers attended a meeting of the Yankton County Board, and Yankton Zoning and Ordinance Committee, to oppose zoning policies in place. They say residential homes being built on agricultural land are limiting their ability to grow, adapt, and raise livestock.

One farmer fears that offering variances, or allowing exceptions, to the current agricultural zoning laws will threaten their livelihood. But, he adds, that’s not the only problem they face. “People are still upset that they’re allowing us to use the manure waste, or waste, as a fertilizer, which is an organic fertilizer for a lot of different crops.” said Jay Cutts, Yankton County Agriculture Producer. “It is very good for our soil.”

To show their opposition, many farmers drove to tonight’s meeting in their tractors and combines. The chair of the Yankton County Commission says the zoning ordinance is outdated. “Our zoning ordinance is 17-years-old, and it hasn’t had hardly any updating,” said Dan Klimisch, Chairman of the Yankton County Commission. “What we’re trying to do, is get public input on how we can modernize our zoning ordinance.”

Klimisch says that no changes have been made yet. A decision was postponed until June 11.

Jennifer Lenzini

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