Iowa Farm Bureau members meeting in Des Moines this week say they’re concerned about what they see as a threat to livestock operations. Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Lang says laws that force them to build a certain distance away from existing homes, schools and businesses should also apply the other way around. Lang says right now Iowans who build new homes in the country don’t have to abide by the same rules. If somebody owns property and wants to build a house less than the standard “setback” distance required of a livestock operation, they could do that, but Lang says there should be protection for the farmer against lawsuits by such a homebuilder claiming the farm’s a nuisance. Nobody’s succeeded at such a tactic, but Lang says it’s a concern nonetheless. Lang says unless there’s a zoning law, someone could build a home right across the road from a livestock operation and then sue the producer, something he says is not fair. Lang says zoning requirements limiting rural homebuilders will make clear what farmers deal with. Lang says it’ll educate people who live in towns and want to move to the country as to what they should expect.
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