Chris Lumpkin 0

Hanover County VA Agricultural Zoning

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We, the undersigned, are residents of Hanover County, Virginia who support local farmers and food producers. We recognize that Hanover's farms are vital contributors to the county's economy and a source for healthy food for our community. Furthermore, we understand that the slaughter and processing of animals is a fundamental part of the agriculture we value and support.

Hanover ordinances currently prohibit the slaughter and processing of most meat animals in agricultural zones, relegating these activities to the restrictive M3 industrial zoning definition. This effectively prevents Hanover farmers and small local businesses from engaging in the processing of meat in an agricultural context, creating an undue impediment on Hanover's producers of meat animals and consumers alike.

Currently the closest facilities available to Hanover's farmers are in Harrisonburg and Faquier County, requiring our farmers to make appointments, sometimes months in advance, and transport their animals long distances to these facilities in other parts of the state for slaughter and packaging. This results in increased stress and hardship for the animals as well as increased costs for the farmer, and, ultimately, the consumer.

As such, we petition the Hanover County Board of Supervisors to remove the following subsection from the A1 county zoning ordinance:

"(c) Commercial slaughtering and processing of large animals, such as horses, cows, pigs, sheep, or goats shall not be conducted on the premises."

We believe that Hanover's farmers and consumers would benefit from allowing meat processing where agriculture is the primary land use. We are satisfied that health and environmental concerns are sufficiently governed by the appropriate federal, state, and local authorities. We appreciate your consideration of our requested ordinance change.


Chris Lumpkin


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