Home / STOPP Timeline

STOPP Timeline


Save Tonopah Oppose Poultry Plant

STOPP: A group of residents committed to saving our community from the ravages of a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO).

Hickman Egg Farm:

President & CEO: Glen Hickman

Vice-President of Operations: Billy Hickman

Vice-President of Sales & Marketing: Clint Hickman (Maricopa County Supervisor for District 4)

Public Relations: Sharman Hickman

Maricopa County Superior Court http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/ Civil Case

Case Information: Verified Complaint (AG Exemption) Case Number: CV2014-093028 Judge: Mark Aceto File Date: 04/22/2014Case Dismissed without prejudice (may refile) 08/29/2014. Court decided STOPP was not given the opportunity to challenge the AG Exemption.

Case Information: Anticipatory Nuisance Case Number: CV2014-091726 Judge Richard Gama File Date: 08/05/2014

Timeline of STOPP & Hickman’s Poultry CAFO

11/2013 Hickman Egg purchased 360 acres of land at 41625 W. Indian School Rd. This land was zoned Rural-43 (1 residence per acre)

12/16/ 2013 The Desert Pride sign was installed.

01/01/ 2014 A letter was written by the Tonopah Valley Community Council (TVCC) to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, about their concerns about the poultry CAFO (no reply).

01/06/2014 Hickman’s submitted a request for Applied for AG Exemption status to allow an egg ranch in the Rural-43 zoning district. ( Zoning Adjudication Division, Land Use Application)

01/07/2014 A letter to the following officials about the Hickman CAFO: Gov. Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Legislators: Darin Mitchell and Macario Saladate IV, Senators: Olivia Bedford and Don Shooter No Reply

01/08/2014 Concerned residents attended the Board of Supervisors meeting, and specifically asked them for help, and if they are unable to give any assistance, tell us where to go for help. Their reply was “No Comment”. They left with no answers.

01/09/2014 Open House Saddle Mountain RV Park Billy and Glen Hickman presented Desert Pride to about 600 Tonopah’s residents.

Desert Pride Phase One:  2.2 million Chickens 7 chicken buildings- approximately x 82ft. wide x 560ft. long x 30ft. high Processing Plant- approximately 200ft x 200ft with over 35,000 square feet of space. 1 cement waste water pond. Water from the chicken buildings are put into the pond to evaporate. Size of a football field. Three more phases are planned: end result, 28 chicken buildings, 2 egg processing plants, more waste ponds and a total of 12 million chickens. Billy and Glen Hickman told the audience that the property was zoned agriculture, they had an AG exemption, and that nothing could be done about it. What they FAILED to say was the application had just been filed 3 days before, and the application had not yet been looked at, nor approved.

01/12/2014 Concerned residents attended a Board of Supervisors meeting again asking for help, and direction in fighting this industry coming into our community. No Comment again.

01/13/2014 This was the first organized committee meeting of STOPP (Save Tonopah Oppose Poultry Plant) a grassroots effort to save the community from the ravages of a poultry CAFO. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation STOPP committee members began actively researching environmental issues, safety issues, traffic issues, prison worker concerns, etc. The more STOPP supporters learned the more we became concerned about the ravages a poultry CAFO could do to our community. Town Hall Community Meeting are currently held the last Monday of each month, and are organized to keep the residents informed of any UPDATES- LAWSUIT-EVENTS-WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP, etc.

01/15/2014 Joined Facebook using Social Media to bring awareness of our plight.

01/21/2014 A letter was written to Chairman Barney. No response. Chairman of  Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

01/21/2014 A letter was written to Mary Rose Wilcox. No response. Maricopa County Board of Supervisor District 5.

01/26/2014 Hickman’s requested a “Real Property Classification Verification” which would allow for an Agricultural Exemption. The Assessor’s office stated the property was in “Field Crop”

01/27/2014 A registered letter was sent to Billy Hickman which required his signature at time of delivery. This letter contained over 200 signatures of local residents expressing their concerns about the Hickman’s egg CAFO, Desert Pride. It questioned the motive of their brother, Clint Hickman, being ‘appointed’ as the Tonopah representative on the Board of Supervisors. The letter stated community concerns about health issues, decline in property values, water quality and its depletion, and requested that they move their business to a more suitable area away from homes and our business area, ( No response)

01/31/2014 The Hickman’s engineer submitted a handwritten description notifying the Assessor their intent to have “28 large hen houses and two central egg processing plants”, and the ” final project will consist of packaged eggs with on-site facilities for semi-truck pickup”

02/06/2014 AG Exemption under LU2014004 was approved by Maricopa County and Planning and Development Dept.

02/11/2014 A letter was sent requesting a Comprehensive Environmental Impact Study. The letter was sent to: Mr. Ryan Jackisch-Water Use & Allocation Permit Section- ADWR Mr. Balaji Vaivyanaathan- Air Pollution Permit Section ADEQ Ms. Marie Greenbie Aquifer Protection/Use Permit Section ADEQ Mr. James Newberry Roadway Operation Inspection & Engineering Maricopa County Department of Transportation Mr. Luke Peterson- Water Discharge Permit Section- ADEQ Mr. Jim Cogswell Artifact Preservation- State Parks and Recreation Mr. Glen Hickman CEO Hickman Eggs Tonopah Valley Community Council (TVCC) Mr. John Tinger NPDES Permitting Ms. Suzanne Perkins- Project Manager

02/12/2014 The Board of Supervisors meeting was attended by 16 members of STOPP. Eight speakers addressed the Board explaining why we did not want this industry in our community. Blight on the neighborhood….. Concerns about the prison workers….. The water contamination…..water depletion… safety of our children…..decrease of property values. No Comment again.

02/12/2014 Community members went to the Planning and Development Dept. and spoke with 3 different people in the department. Mr. and Mrs. Butler asked them to direct them to someone who could help. They all commented they felt sorry for us, but there wasn’t anything that could be done because the Assessor’s Office had approved the exemption

02/21/2014 STOPP Trade Name Registration with the State

03/12/2014 Socially Responsible Agriculture Project-SRAP This organization fights CAFO’s. They are assisting STOPP in our fight against the Hickman CAFO.

04/22/2014 The first filing to the Courts was a “Verified Complaint”. This Complaint put Hickman Eggs as well as the Maricopa County Assessor, Maricopa County Planning & Development, and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on notice that we were suing them.(Case Number:CV2014-093028)

05/2014 A Temporary Restraining Order was filed against the Hickman’s with the request to stop their construction immediately.

05/09/2014 Hickman’s Answer to Plaintiff’s Verified Complaint

05/09/2014 Hickman Requested to enter upon land for Water Sampling Pursuant to Rule 34(a) ARIZ. R.CIV.P. The land is adjacent to the Hickman CAFO and owned by plaintiffs.

05/21/2014 Attended the Board of Supervisor meeting. Members of STOPP complained about the lack of representation for our District (4). They asked to have another Supervisor be assigned to our District. One speaker read the two AZ Statutes regarding our representative (Clint Hickman) not doing his duty, and a Class 4 Felony by accepting “value” (from his wages) at Hickman Egg farm. We asked for Clint Hickman’s resignation. Again No Comment, just a response that Clint had a conflict of interest and would not vote in regard to his family business.

July 15, 2014 Call to Action letters were sent to: Gov. Brewer, Attorney General Tom Horne, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, House of Representatives: Darrin Mitchell, Steve Montenegro, Macario Saldate IV, Senate Representatives: Olivia Bedford, Don Shooter, Sally Ann Gonzales, Arizona Republic.

08/05/2014 Anticipatory Nuisance Complaint was filed against Hickman Egg. Case Number: CV2014-091726

08/22/2014 Hickman’s Answer to Plaintiffs’ Verified Complaint

08/29/2014 Case Number: CV2014-093028 was dismissed without prejudice. The court decided that STOPP was not given the opportunity to appeal the Hickman AG Exemption.

10/08/2014 Hickman’s Initial Rule Disclosure Statement Case Number: CV2014-091726

11/17/2014 STOPP Articles of Incorporation were approved.

11/13/2014 STOPP supporters appealed to the Board of Adjustment concerning the Hickman AG Exemption. The question before the board was not really the overall AG Exemption, but whether what Hickman Egg was doing on the property qualifies as “AG”. STOPP lost the appeal. The Board completely disregarded AZ statute 3-112.

Notes The Maricopa County Assessor office approved the Hickman Exemption based on Chapter 13, Section of the MC Zoning code. This states that this Ordinance shall not prevent, restrict or otherwise regulate the use or occupation of land…. Used for general agricultural purpose. STOPP thinks that a 12 million chicken facility with 2 egg processing plants is not “General Agriculture”.

AZ Statutes ARS Title 3-112 Agricultural operations; nuisance liability

  1. Agricultural operations conducted on farmland that are consistent with good agricultural practices and established prior to surrounding nonagricultural uses are presumed to be reasonable and do not constitute a nuisance unless the agricultural operation has a substantial adverse effect on the public health and safety.
  2. Agricultural operations undertaken in conformity with federal, state and local laws and regulations are presumed to be good agricultural practice and not adversely affecting the public health and safety.

ARS 49-141a (1) loss for our quality of life and the impact of this industry in a residential area, safety (use of prisoners for labor). The Hickman’s have an Ag Exemption: they are “exempt from the Zoning, Drainage, and Building & Safety Codes

Zoned Rural R-43: one residence per acre is permitted.

The U.S. EPA defines a large concentrated animal feed operation (CAFO) as 82,000 laying hens. The Hickman’s CAFO Phase 1 will house 2.2 MILLION chickens.

Full build out will house 12 MILLION CHICKENS! One of the largest in the United States.