Grain silo plan stirs concern in Wingate

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 05:42 PM

The Wingate town attorney has been put on notice due to a zoning dispute over a grain silo. 

Local farmer Frank Howey, Jr. asked to be able to put up a grain-drying silo in Wingate. 

"The problem is, it's considered agri-business and that property is zoned highway corridor," Town Manager Patrick Niland explained. 

Howey was going through the process of being re-zoned as light industrial. 

He is proposing to build a 140-foot lift elevator and a 100-foot silo. 

"The day we were supposed to have the re-zoning hearing at the town board (Howey) withdrew his application," Niland said. 

Howey cited a general statute that exempts bona fide farms from having to meet a town's zoning ordinances. 

"Our stance is that this is a commercial operation and it wouldn't qualify as a bona fide farm," Niland said. 

They have authorized their town attorney so that if Howey tries to build the silos, they can enforce their land use ordinances, Niland explained. 

For now, the town is at a stalemate and it is a waiting game. 

"We've contacted Union County and asked them to deny any zoning permits for that property," Niland said. 

Howey could not be reached before press time.