Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Dixon Fish farm seeks OK for 80-acre expansion

Fish farm seeks OK for 80-acre expansion

By Julie Kay/Staff Writer

Article Launched:01/02/2007 05:30:36 AM PST

The Solano County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday on the proposed expansion of a Dixon fish farm.

Shih Aquaculture is located in the northeast corner of Dixon's Hyde and Hackman roads. The proposed expansion would take place over an 80-acre area and include construction of 22 ponds of 1.8 acres each.

An environmental impact study has indicated the project will not have a significant effect on the environment, and county staff have recommended an approval of the project.

The existing aquaculture facility, on an 80-acre tract surrounded entirely by agricultural land, originally was permitted in 1996. The proposed expansion would take place directly south of the current facility, in two phases over three years.

During the first phase, 12 ponds would be constructed on the west half of the acreage. During the second phase, an additional 10 ponds would be constructed on the east half. The ponds will measure 533 feet by 177 feet, and will hold 9.8 acre-feet of water.

The project site is designated intensive agriculture under the Solano County General Plan. Its environmental impact study found that the risk of one or more of the fish ponds failing during an earthquake is small.

The owner, Eric Shih, has taken steps to mitigate possible pesticide drift from the tract to adjoining properties, says the report. In the facility's more than 10 years of operation, there have been no complaints from neighbors about pesticide drift, it continues.

The study found that the proposed expansion would be consistent with the General Plan regarding traffic circulation and population densities and distributions. It notes that there are adequate utilities, access roads, drainage and other necessary facilities in the area, and that the expansion will not constitute a nuisance or danger to people living near or passing through the area.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chamber in the County Administration Center at 675 Texas St., Fairfield.

Julie Kay can be reached at schools@thereporter.com.

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