The proposed Hog processing plant near Chiefland is edging forward in Levy County. Sheila Cooley, who lives near the proposed plant, has organized a group of nearby citizens to protest the proposed plant which will slaughter and process 10,000 hogs per year if approved for a Special Exception to the Land Use plan by the Levy County Zoning Department.

Sheila’s group is called SAY NO TO LEVY COUNTY. She has a website established: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/SAYNOTOLEVYCO and she will post all relevant information there. . She can be reached at 727-776-3711. The tentative hearing date is September 8 (Tuesday) at the Levy County Planning Department on Noble Ave. in Bronson.

The issue in the case is WATER and ZONING. Is the processing plant going to use as much water as the Adena Springs/Sleepy Creek plant in Ft. McCoy -11.4 million gallons/day (mgpd) or will the Consumptive Use Permit (C.U.P.) be more reasonable? Will the Special (zoning) Exception be compatible with the surrounding community (after all, it is a residential area, not industrial)?

When Adena (Stronach and associates) requested to transfer the 11 mgpd from the old Andrews State Pine Nursery upon purchase, the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) reduced the C.U.P to 3 mgpd, excluding the processing plant at hand now. According to SRWMD representatives, there is no C.U.P. application filed for the processing plant at this time. We believe that if the Special Exception is approved by the zoning department Adena/Sleepy Creek will request another huge C.U.P. for the processing plant, so it is ultimately important to stop the Special Exception application.

There are several reasons the application should be denied:

  1. The facility in question is 240 acres+ that encompasses a lot of wetlands (we are searching the maps now for that information). We believe the plant is not compatible to the wetlands location. That part of Levy County is “Karst” topography and is very vulnerable to water pollutants (such as meat processing by-product) as it is very close to the top of the surficial aquifer.
  2. The application asks if the facility will meld into the existing zoning, which is Rural/Agricultural….not Industrial. We don’t think so.

We support Sheila and her neighbors who oppose this water grab. Sheila is seeking the aid of an attorney. Anyone with a compassionate heart should contact Sheila at the above website. Maybe a Pro Bono attorney?