PIERRE, S.D. — Gov. Kristi Noem’s zoning bill that streamlines the conditional use permitting process passed through the South Dakota House State Affairs Committee on a 10-3 vote.

The committee voted to pass the Senate Bill 157 to the House floor on Wednesday, March 4.

SB 157 would revise state laws governing conditional use permits to give the process a more predictable timeline, Noem said.

Rep. Steve McCleery, D-Sisseton, said that he would vote no because of personal situations he’s had when it comes to conditional use permits and the operation of concentrated animal feeding operations.

Opponents to the bill said that the bill would open the state up to more CAFOs and pollute the environment, and disable the neighbors from being able to cite their concerns in the court of law.

Only a “person aggrieved” would be able to challenge a zoning decision by a county board of adjustment. That person would need to be someone who is directly interested in the outcome of and aggrieved by the decision of action or failure to act.

McCleery said that had to sue his neighbor for pumping manure from his feedlot into a ditch, through a culvert and onto his property because the person thought it was too expensive to have a truck come onto the property and properly pump the manure out from the storage pits.

“He knew he was doing it and he knew he was guilty, so I know where these people are coming from,” McCleery said. “There are some issues that I just don’t think it covers so I will be voting no.”

Rep. Michael Diedrich, R-Rapid City, said that the bill is important for economic development as well as important to the preservation and growth of the family farm. “With this process, the appeals process with conditional use permits would be easier,” Diedrich added.

Rep. Lee Qualm, R-Platte, said the bill is crucial to economic growth in South Dakota.

“We need animal agriculture in South Dakota,” Qualm added.

The bill passed through the Senate on Feb. 21. It will now head to the House floor for consideration.