Logan residents, venue owners clash with business on feedlot zoning

Neighbors in one Harrison County town are raising questions over a proposed feedlot.
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 10:34 PM CDT
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LOGAN, Iowa (WOWT) - Property owners are making noise in a quiet country neighborhood near Logan, Iowa.

A building designed to feed a large herd of cattle popped up without notice. Many angry neighbors are asking how it was allowed. Surprisingly, county officials have the same question.

Living in an area zoned residential, Linda Adair says something stinks because 28 steps from her porch a feedlot is being built.

“My country living is gone, we’re not going to have any,” Adair said. “I’m not going to be able to be outside because of the flies and smell.”

A businessman named Jeff Allen has a small herd that neighbors say will increase up to 500 head with a massive barn already built.

“This is like asking for forgiveness after,” said Craig Kelley on the Harrison County Planning Board.

Kelley questions why the zoning administrator gave an exemption to build the feedlot building without the land first being rezoned from residential to agriculture.

“It is delineated in the guidelines that it should not be there. And if you granted it I think we got a problem.”

But the zoning administrator defends his approval.

”Based on my interpretation of the Ag exemption law. So it was exempt from zoning,” said Matt Pott with Harrison County Zoning.

The planning committee voted not to change the zoning from residential to agriculture and the county supervisors did the same. So neighbors hope the cattle feeding operation has been blocked.

“For a while, and it proves at this level the county did the right thing, they made the right call,” said neighbor Kim Reisz.

For Kori and Chad Grosse-Rhode who own the Calvary Falls wedding venue, the denial of a zoning change means they’re closer to topping off a dream.

”A beautiful view with stain glass from Boys Town,” said Chad.

The couple got the proper approvals and have spent more than a million dollars on transforming a defunct museum into an event venue, and not only inside.

But on the hill above where a winding walk leads to a perfect setting for an outdoor wedding, except the feedlot building is just across the road.

“How can you have a wedding outside when there are that many cattle? There’s going to be flies and odor,” said Kori.

The lack of Ag zoning should keep hundreds of cows from being wedding crashers.

The event center owners have plans of installing a cascading waterfall that would add to a wedding experience. And though they had faith the county would back them on the zoning issue, they’re not ready to say yes to that kind of investment.”

“He’s not getting the zoning the way he wants it but that doesn’t mean he can’t continue to do what he wants to do,” Chad said.

Despite the zoning beef over the proposed feedlot next door, the venue owners say they’ll continue down the path of making Calvary Falls the perfect place for flowing dresses.

The Logan businessman who built the feedlot building didn’t appear at either hearing on the failed zoning change. 6 News’ calls and emails to him haven’t been answered.