Knox County Repeals Health Ordinance Section
By Echo Menges
The Knox County Commissioners voted to eliminate section 5.3 of the Knox County Health Ordinance Friday, June 17, 2011. The section was added to the health ordinance by the Commissioners April 15, 2011, just two months ago. It was set up to give CAFO builders variances to build within the counties newly expanded setback distances if the builder could get, according to the ordinance, “the concent of all owners of all occupied dwellings within the setback area.” The section did not allow for exemptions concerning setback distances between CAFOs.
Section 5.3 was written by Presiding Commissioner Evan Glasgow and originally had the support of Western District Commissioner Terry Marble. Eastern District Commissioner Terry “Red” Callahan voted against adding the section.
Callahan warned the other commissioners back in April, “That’s going to bite you in the butt.”
This time around Marble had a change of heart and made the motion to have the section repealed. Callahan, who didn’t want the section added in the first place, voted with Marble to repeal the section. Glasgow stood his ground and voted against repealing it.
“I didn’t feel like we needed it.” Said Callahan. “I had a lot of telephone calls at home from people who didn’t want this variance.”
“I had a lot of phone calls from the people I represent who didn’t want the variance. They were against it and wanted me to vote it down.” Said Marble.
“I think it was a good thing to have.” Said Glasgow. “If the neighbors are okay with it then why push them out.”
According to the commissioners a few citizens inquired about obtaining a variance in accordance with section 5.3, but no one actually got one.