"Because the land is zoned for agriculture, state agricultural laws allow Hickman’s to build the 360-acre farm with few permit requirements and virtually no oversight from the state or Maricopa County," Madrid writes. To make matters worse, the farm is owned by the family of the area's county supervisor, who is the person residents would normally voice their concerns about such a project.
The problem, residents say, is that they were given no warning about plans for the farm, and given no voice in whether or not permits were approved, Madrid writes. But the farm only needs two permits, one for use of a floodplain, which is expected to be issued, and the other for dust control, which has already been issued. Billy Hickman, a company co-owner and vice president of operations, told Madrid, “I don’t know that I can please everybody. Hopefully, we can perform at a level that they’re satisfied that. . . . We’re not disrupting their lives.”
|Wikipedia map: Tonopah, Maricopa County|
The first phase of operations, which are scheduled to being any day now, include "seven 30-foot-tall buildings, each with a 45,920-square-foot footprint, and a 35,000-square-foot processing plant," and "would require about 18 trucks per 10-hour day, seven days a week," Madrid writes. " Future phases would each have seven buildings that house 300,000 chickens in each, and would boost the farm’s chickens to more than 8 million if there are four phases." (Read more)