First test of ag rules erupts in conflict



GREENFIELD — Hancock County’s executive branch is starting to think twice about an agribusiness ordinance they signed off on earlier this year, saying now it’s being interpreted too strictly.

The ordinance was drafted to provide guidelines to farmers looking to expand their businesses beyond simply selling what they can grow. The ordinance allows for new types of activities, known as agribusiness or agritourism, that are intended to generate more revenue and attract more visitors to Hancock County farms.

It was drafted at the request of the county after one such operation, Fortville’s Piney Acres, expanded into activities beyond what the county’s zoning code addressed.

After a year and a half of discussion and revision, the ordinance was signed by commissioners in May.

Piney Acres’ owner, Rex Zenor, was the first to apply for permits under the new rules.

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