New Animal Breeding House Rules in Thomas County

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There's a debate brewing in Thomas County, even though some may not know about it.

Thomas County commissioners say the construction moratorium was put in place when the new Sanderson Farms processing plant began operations in Moultrie

Elaine Mays on the Thomas County Commission for District 8, says, "We knew there would be an abundance of chicken houses asked for in Thomas County."

Mays says many residents opposing proposed chicken houses area showed up to Monday's commission meeting to hear the new regulations.

Commissioners say starting November 1, animal-raising houses must be 1,660 feet from a residence, 500 feet from a property line and say owners can't have more than eight on their property.

Commissioner Mays says, "I think it's a good regulation, and I think that we did the best that we could to protect those who want to build and also to protect those that live around it."

Mays says after November 1, only new animal-raising houses will need to meet the new criteria and may just bring an end to the chicken house debate.

Thomas County commissioners say final approval on animal houses belongs to the county's chief building official.