Planning Commission member Ronnie Kilgo had asked for consideration of the ordinance, which would let local farmers pool their crops to make as much as 10,000 gallons of ethanol a year.
“The yield depends on the crop,” he said. “With corn, you could probably get 40 or 50 gallons an acre.”
Production would be allowed by right on property in agricultural-residential districts, and Kilgo said he expects most activity to be on farms of at least 50 acres.
Some established farms in suburban-residential zones also could be eligible, under a special-use permit. The fuel would be for the farmers’ use only — no commercial sales.
Planning Director Sue Hiller had initially recommended a special-use permit be required for all small-scale ethanol production.
“Allowing it on the farm level is a good thing,” she said. “On the other hand, it is a chemical process.”
But Kilgo said farmers are used to storing hazardous chemicals and the process is heavily regulated by the state, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and farmers’ insurers.
The Floyd County Commission could schedule a public hearing on the proposed ordinance as early as its April 24 meeting.
Also on Thursday, the planning commission unanimously recommended denial of a special use permit allowing a manufactured home on Shadowood Circle in Silver Creek.
The area, in the Raintree Village subdivision, contains only site-built homes and several residents voiced opposition to the addition.
The citizens’ board also recommended approval of a switch to residential zoning from commercial zoning at 10 Alford St. A house has been on the property since the 1960s.
Hiller said the owner discovered the incompatible zoning only when he tried to get a building permit to replace a shed that blew down in the last storm.
The County Commission will make the final rulings on April 24.