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Livestock zoning decisions from counties could face fewer appeals under House bill

PIERRE—Rep. G. Mark Mickelson prevailed over Rep. Lee Schoenbeck in a showdown Tuesday over legislation intended to help counties reach final zoning decisions on large feedlots for livestock.

House members set aside amendments proposed by Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, and agreed with amendments from Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, who is the legislation's prime sponsor.

Schoenbeck wanted to strip away the final three-plus pages of the bill, HB 1140. But Mickelson said that would eliminate much of the legislation's purpose.

The proposal would consolidate appeals of a decision into one court proceeding and require a $250 bond from each person appealing. Opponents to some beef, cattle and poultry projects in various counties have often filed multiple appeals to delay them sometimes for years.

House members voted 51-18 to send the proposal to the Senate for further consideration.

Rep. Burt Tulson, R-Lake Norden, asked House members to reject Schoenbeck's amendments. Tulson said the legislation this year is a follow-up to Mickelson's bill from 2015 that became law on the same general topic.

"I'm not an attorney, but I do know what I do know," Tulson said.

Mickelson's amendments Tuesday changed the phrase "minor amendment" to "changes" and added a sentence requiring the county to issue a public notice 10 days before a hearing where changes would be considered.

Rep. Dennis Feickert, D-Aberdeen, asked Mickelson the reason for the $250 bond. Mickeson replied it wasn't a very important part of the legislation.

"It was done for uniformity," Mickelson said, referring to other parts of state laws where similar bonds are required.