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Millsboro residents concerned about Mountaire Farms land deal

Several weeks ago, a resident near the town of Millsboro noticed that a parcel of land on Revel and Indiantown Road was for sale. Furthermore, he learned that the buyer could be poultry company Mountaire Farms.

Suspicious that a poultry operation might be built so close to their homes, the residents banded together to form an opposing group called C.O.S.T., which stands for Citizens Opposed to Secret Transaction.

Maria Payan, an advocate from the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, organized a gathering for the community to discuss Mountaire’s potential land deal. On February 22nd, the day of the meeting, representatives from Mountaire showed up to explain to residents that the company planned on building offices there, not a chicken processing plant. About 160 residents attended the meeting.

“The residents had questions that anybody would have,” said Payan. “Why are they buying such a big parcel and having it rezoned if they are going to use a small portion of the parcel?”

The land that Mountaire is seeking to purchase is 305 acres, though the proposed office space, which would employ 100 people, would will only cover 58 acres of it. Mountaire Farms could not be reached after multiple calls for comment.

Payan, who also represents Protecting Our Indian River, a group opposed to the Allen Harim land proposal near Millsboro, says she will continue to work with residents concerned with the new Mountaire development.

“They really don’t want the zoning changed to commercial,” said Payan. “They like the open space. A church leases it out for agriculture. I don’t think they want that type of expansion in their community.”