Indiana ministry sues zoning board over dairy farm approval

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An eastern Indiana ministry that operates a children's church camp is suing zoning officials over their approval of a large dairy farm that would be built within a half-mile of the camp.

The House of Prayer Ministries Inc. contends that the Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals violated the ministry's constitutional rights by approving the proposed 1,400-cow dairy farm.

The ministry says that farm will ruin youngsters' summer camp experience with smells, dust and manure runoff. It would be built upwind of the ministry's Harvest Christian Camp, located in adjacent Henry County near the town of Lewisville.

Hoosier Environmental Council attorney Kim Ferraro says "the camp's very existence is at stake" if the industrial-scale dairy farm is built. The Hoosier Environmental Council filed the lawsuit against the Rush County BZA and argues that the BZA should have required a one-mile setback for protection between the farm and the camp.

This is the second legal action the HEC has taken regarding this youth camp. In December, HEC filed an administrative appeal on the camp's behalf, challening the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's issuance of a permit to the dairy farm.

Rush County officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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