Former dairy accepts $1.281 million settlement in zoning dispute

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Aurora County, S.D., has agreed to pay a former dairy $1.281 million over an ordinance that restricted the dairy’s size.

The settlement, which ends more than 10 years of litigation, was announced Friday.

This past summer, a jury awarded Thompson Farms $600,000 in damages. But the Thompsons and their attorney reportedly asked the court to award more to cover attorney’s fees and expenses for expert witnesses, according to this article from The Daily Republic.

“The Thompson brothers, who ran SoDak Dairy near Storla S.D., claimed that a 1998 zoning ordinance adopted by the county and the county’s subsequent 2001 denial of a building permit constituted an inverse condemnation, or illegal taking, of the Thompsons’ property,” the article said.

The zoning code, the Thompsons argued, kept them from expanding their herd, which affected their economic viability.

For more information, see this story from Dairy Herd Management earlier this year.

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