PARKER, S.D. (AP) — Turner County's planning commission has approved a zoning ordinance paving the way for a large egg-laying operation near Parker, though it would allow only half of the planned 6 million birds.

The ordinance is nearly the same as one struck down by a judge in September who agreed with Sonstegard Foods egg farm opponents who said it had been approved without proper notice or input.

Commissioner Mick Miller says officials have devised "a solid set of rules for development in the county." But opponents say 3 million chickens is still too many.

The Argus Leader reports that the ordinance goes to the County Commission for final approval next month. Opponents say if it passes, they likely will circulate petitions to try to bring the ordinance to a public vote.

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