A couple's plans to build a pig breeding facility has been put on hold.
Kevin and Danelle Caffall, owners of Helping Hands Farm, in Willcox, want to breed pigs to sell to the University of Arizona for medical research.
These plans have been put on hold after the Cochise County Planning and Zoning Commission raised concerns. Their application for a Special Use Permit resulted in letters from seven neighbors against the permit. They say they are concerned about potential smell, noise, dust, pests, water contamination, and traffic.
So far, there is no contract between the Caffalls and UA and have not applied for certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Certification ois a requirement of the University contract.
Mr. Caffall told the Commission he is waiting for approval of the Special Use Permit first, because the USDA certification fee is $300.
The Commission says they also heard from two neighbors who have concerns about the possible impact the pig breeding facility would have on their property values.
The couple says, "we are just trying to do something that helps humanity." They also said that if they get the permit, Helping Hands Farm would be the only USDA approved medical research pig breeder in Arizona.
Commission chair Patrick Greene wants more assurances. He says, "I have some serious concerns. It seems like you are moving ahead with construction before any indication of a contract with the University of Arizona."
The Caffalls had already started construction on the pig barn, believing it did not require a permit, but stopped building when they realized they needed a permit.
Commission chair Greene also says he wants more information on how the pif barn would be kept clean and kept to the standard expected of a business supplying animals for medical research.
The Commission voted to table the application fro 90 days, allowing the Caffalls to get more information about their contract with UA, the USDA certification, and to satisfy concerns raised.