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Iowa farmer ordered to lower grain leg

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An Iowa judge has sided with an airport commission over a farmer’s newly installed grain leg being a flight hazard, ordering the Carroll County farmer to lower the tower.

According to Radio Iowa, the judge ruled a local ordinance required Loren Danner to seek permission from the airport before the 126-foot-tall tower was erected.

Danner told the Daily Times Herald, he believed he was following the law when he submitted an application in January 2013 to build the grain leg and obtained an agricultural exemption from the county’s zoning ordinance. However Danner, who has farmed for nearly 50 years, didn’t know his land lies within 10,000 feet of the Arthur N. Neu Municipal Airport and nothing in that area can stand 150 feet above the airport runway because it might be an obstacle for planes as they descend for landing.

In July of 2013, the FAA indicated the structure would not pose a threat if properly lit at night, so Danner added red lights on top. However the judge ruled FAA regulations do not preempt local ordinances.

Danner’s attorney, who expects his client to appeal, said that lowering the grain handling tower to 61 feet will cost Danner an estimated $400,000.

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