Prior to the Oct. 21 Isanti County Board meeting, slaughterhouses within Isanti County were only allowed in areas zoned industrial with a conditional use permit. However, a local farmer requested slaughterhouses be allowed in agricultural/residential districts with an interim use permit. After a public hearing, Isanti County Board of Commissioners approved the zoning ordinance amendment. 

The ordinance defines a slaughterhouse as a building establishment in which animals other than poultry are slaughtered, eviscerated, or dressed for human food.

As long as a property owner meets the following conditions, they are allowed an interim use permit to operate a slaughterhouse on property zoned agricultural/residential. Those conditions are:

•Owner/operator must reside on the premises and have homestead status.

•Minimum lot size of ten acres.

•Slaughtering of livestock including the harvested waste must take place inside a closed building and the harvested waste must be properly composted on-site or off-site disposal via a licensed rendering company.

•Must adhere to licensure requirements from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and US Department of Agriculture.

•The facility must obtain/maintain all necessary federal, state and county licenses and approvals and comply with all state and federal health and safety regulations.

•Animal holding areas must be compliant with Minnesota Pollution Control regulations.

The board also set up another public hearing regarding amending its zoning ordinance for permitted uses for land zoned agricultural/residential. This amendment deals with the maximum and minimum lot size and new plats. That public hearing will take place Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 9:30 a.m. in the Isanti County Board Room.

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