Proposed Fort Pierre livestock rules anger rural residents

Farm Forum

FORT PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Fort Pierre officials are reworking an ordinance aimed at limiting agricultural operations in the city, after some rural residents complained the regulations would also affect them.

One of the proposed provisions would raise the property threshold for owning livestock from 1 acre to 10 acres. The issue is that it would apply not only in city limits but also in the 1-mile “extraterritorial” zone just outside that’s also under city jurisdiction.

The Capital Journal ( ) reports that another proposed new rule would permit animal grazing but not breeding or calving.

Opponent Teri Heninger said the city is making decisions affecting rural residents who aren’t eligible to vote in the city.

“I’d like to see the City Commission consider giving back that 1 mile to the county. We have no representation,” Heninger said.

Public Works Director Rick Hahn acknowledged the problem earlier this week.

“That was my mistake there, on that part of it,” Hahn said. “I’m trying to get a balance between the two, that we have some residential out in that extra-territorial that’s adjacent to agricultural. We’ll try to bring that balance.”

According to Hahn, a different ordinance already on the books says that a farm or ranch must be at least 10 acres, and that the intention of the new ordinance was to match that already existing rule.

Hahn said the new rules were proposed to conform to the city’s adopted comprehensive plan for future development. He said he had not considered how the proposed ruled would affect rural residents.

Hahn said that he would consider created two different sets of regulations, one for inside the city limits and one for the extraterritorial 1 mile. He said people who are currently under existing rules could be grandfathered in, or allowed to operate under the previous rules.

The proposed ordinance will go back to the city’s planning and zoning committee for changes.