A contentious proposal for a pig farm resulting in a near-two hour public hearing in the RM of Tache was ultimately shot down by council after taking various concerns from residents into consideration.
The application to revive a decommissioned farm near the LUD of Lorette to establish a hog operation with 717 acres of field for manure spreading received over 40 written and verbal objections when it came before council on May 31 for a public hearing. Area residents took issue with the proximity of the farm to the LUD, with odour being the top concern for those opposing it.
While Ernest Hiebert, the applicant for the conditional use and variance to lower mandatory capacity and setback requirements for the proposed farm, hadn’t purchased the land beforehand he put in applications for the uses to see if the proposal proved workable. During the public hearing he stated if his plan was seen as a problem he wouldn’t go forward with it.
Of the 12 individuals who spoke during the public hearing in opposition of the plan many of them said the farm would stifle development of the now 1,300-resident community, something that has steadily increased in the years since its humble beginnings as a farming area. Homeowners said the smell from the 3,720 pigs which would live on the farm at any given time would deter potential residents from moving to the area.
Those who spoke during the public forum held no criticism back, calling the proposal ‘greedy’ and ‘problematic’. In addition to concerns of the potential odour, some members of the community felt it could pose a problem for the water supply with the potential to contaminate it, despite a provincial technical review stating there would be no such risk.
After taking comments from everyone present at the virtual meeting wishing to make a statement, council ultimately held their decision over to mull over feedback and go forth with a decision at a later date.
At Tache’s June 8 meeting of council the matter came back to the table with some final discussion before coming to a vote. Mayor Justin Bohemier said he was pleased with the turnout of the hearing, saying he heard the concerns of residents ‘loud and clear.’
Members of council said the proximity of the proposed operation to the LUD of Landmark was the greatest concern for both the RM and residents of the area, which factored into council’s ultimate decision.
With a move to deny the motion by Coun. George McGregor (Ward 2) and a second from Bohemier, the application was denied and will not go forward.