Hart BOC Approves Moratorium to Temporarily Bar Rendering Plants

Hart County is taking action to prevent the kind of situation Franklin County found itself in with Pilgrim’s Pride.

At the Hart County Commission meeting Tuesday evening, Commissioner Joey Dorsey said he wants to prevent unwanted rendering plants from gaining a foothold in the county.

“Keeping up with what’s going on with our neighbors in Franklin County with the Pilgrim’s rendering plant, things that a lot of people are concerned about is the fact that we don’t have zoning, he said. “In the past we have controlled where industry grows by the infrastructure. But now that we have county water and gas in other places, I think it’s time we look to developing a performance standard ordinance for an industry like a rendering plant.”

Dorsey then made a motion to enact a county moratorium.

“I’m going to make a motion that we enact a 120-day moratorium on any building permits for a rendering plant. And that gives us time to come up with an ordinance and I’ll have a draft available at our next meeting. I think we need to be proactive on that,” he said.

“I’ll give you a second on that,” said Commissioner Ricky Carter.

That motion passed unanimously.

In April, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that established a moratorium to prevent new industrial applications until the end of June after Pilgrim’s officials pulled out of initial talks.

The Company, however, heard of the planned moratorium and resubmitted their rezoning application and conditional use permit request hours before the Board had a chance to vote.

Late last week, just before the Board of Commissioners was to vote on a second recommendation to reject their application by the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Board, Pilgrim’s sent a letter to Planning Director Scott DeLozier from their attorney informing him the Company would not pursue their plan to build a $70-million dollar rendering plant in Carnesville on Highway 320 near the Middle Fork of the Broad River.

Franklin County Commission Chair Jason Macomson said last week, the County will now work to revise and toughen its commercial/industrial building ordinance.

“What we’re doing is revising our commercial/industrial section and our plan is to adopt the revision before the moratorium expires,” he explained. “We may have to extend the moratorium at the end of this month a little bit longer but as of right now they (Pilgrim’s) cannot reapply because of the moratorium.”