WORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Board of Adjustment has approved a request from Adam Aggen, Rushmore, to vary from the required setback distances to construct a second hog barn on a site at 20692 Jones Ave., Rushmore.

Aggen, who constructed his first hog barn on the 5-acre site three years ago, plans to build a 192- by 102-foot total confinement barn. Since the addition will increase the number of animal units on the site, a state-issued permit was required and obtained.

The addition of a second barn increases setback requirement distances, and thereby doesn’t meet separation distances from two of the nearest neighbors. The barns will be within 1,642 feet from the Mark Slater property, and 2,494 feet from the Stan and Mary Elsing property. The required separation distance is 2,640 feet.

Aggen told board members in a Wednesday morning meeting via Zoom that he spoke to Slater four years ago, when he decided to build his first hog barn. He said he received approval at that time to not only build one barn, but add a second in the future. Aggen added that he was unable to reach the Elsings.

Nobles County Planning and Zoning Administrator Kathy Henderschiedt said she received no public comment on Aggen’s request.

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In approving the variance to setback requirements, the board kept in place the existing conditions on the site — that a dead animal containment structure be used and that all manure from the site be incorporated into the land. A new condition added Wednesday stated that no further livestock expansion could take place on the 5-acre parcel.

Minutes after the Board of Variance meeting, a Zoom meeting of the Nobles County Planning Commission convened to take up Aggen’s request for expansion. The meeting was required because the site will exceed 1,000 animal units.

“It was made clear several years ago when he requested approval for the first barn that he’d be coming back for a permit for a second barn,” Henderschiedt told planning commission members.

Several commission members said they visited the site and were impressed with the cleanliness of the operation.

“I was pretty impressed with the site,” said commission member Marty Rickers. “It appeared he was planning a second barn when he built the first barn.”

The planning commission unanimously approved Aggen’s request for expansion, and their recommendation will now advance to the Nobles County Board of Commissioners for final consideration at its 3 p.m. Dec. 8 meeting.