By Lon Anderson
Citizens living near the 20-poultry house development now underway in Old Fields turned out in force at the June meeting of the Hardy County Planning Commission to ask questions and get answers. As it turned out, they had more questions than the Commission had answers.
Meeting at an open-air shelter at Brighton Park on June 23 in response to Covid-19 pandemic, the Commissioners heard from about 15 very concerned and frustrated residents from in and around the Becky Webb subdivision. The development is adjacent to the 95-acre tract where work is already underway. The $10 million, 20-broiler house complex has been described as a “mega poultry project” that might be the largest of its kind in West Virginia.
“This is a big crowd for us,” quipped Commission President Lee Lehman after looking down the long tables at all of the visitors. “Usually it’s just us (Commission Members and staff) and the Examiner.”
Top concerns mentioned by those living near the “mega poultry complex” focused on impacts to the environment including water and air as well as damage to their property values because of the complex.
The Planning Office issued a building permit for the project in February, and the project developer, Robert Williams, who is also a member of the Planning Commission, has received the other necessary permits from the State Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Division of Highways, and is proceeding with construction.