Request to expand an existing dairy facility located on two parcels, totaling 32.57± acres, in the General Agriculture (A-2-40) zoning district. The applicant proposes to expand the herd from 897 to 1,500 mature cows, which includes an increase of 600 milk and three dry cows. Additionally, the applicant proposes to increase support stock numbers by 40 for a total of 80 heifers, 15-24 months old. Proposed construction includes one new 32,480 square-foot animal housing structure within the existing dairy production area boundary. The applicant will also install a new mechanical manure separator, developing a concrete manure drying area at the northwest corner of the project site. The applicant anticipates an increase of 1,303 cubic feet of additional manure per day generated from the proposed herd expansion for a total of 3,183 cubic feet of manure per day. Nutrients produced from the herd will be utilized to fertilize irrigated cropland on parcels surrounding the existing dairy operation owned by the property owner. Hours of operation are 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
There is currently one single-family dwelling onsite occupied by the property owner. The proposed request is expected to increase the number of employees by one, for a total of nine employees on a maximum shift. No employee housing is proposed as part of this request. The applicant does not anticipate any customers or visitors onsite. The proposed request is expected to increase the number of feed truck trips from eight to 10 per week. The number of trips associated with the moving of heifers is expected to increase from seven to nine per week. The number of milk truck, tallow truck, and veterinary trips are not expected to increase as part of this request. The existing dairy facility is currently improved with 126,047± square feet of building space and approximately 8.5± acres of corrals, storage ponds, and feed storage. The project site is served by private well and septic system and has access to County-maintained Hultberg Road. Confined Animal Facilities (CAF), which include dairies, are considered to be permitted agricultural uses; however, a use permit is required for new or expanding CAFs requiring a new or modified permit waiver, order, or Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) from the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), where the issuance of such permit, waiver, order, or WDR requires compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Section 21.20.030 (F) of the Stanislaus County Zoning Code). The County adopted the use permit requirement in 2003 in order to allow the County to facilitate the environmental review (in accordance with CEQA) required for issuance of any permit, waiver, order, or WDR by the RWQCB.