Residents in South Windham are rallying against a proposal to rezone farmland to a medium-density residential district.

The rezoning would allow smaller lots and prohibit many land uses in the rural area. The change is recommended by the town’s Land Use Ordinance Committee, which includes three developers.

The Town Council will decide tonight whether to send the proposal back to the committee for further review or to the Planning Board for consideration. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The zoning change would reduce minimum lot sizes in part of South Windham’s farm district from 2 acres to a half-acre, and restrict agricultural uses such as raising pigs or chickens. Opponents say the rezoning would change the rural character of the area.

Patrick Corey said that character is what drew him and his wife, Sheila, to South Windham a few years ago. The Coreys moved from Portland to a home that her grandfather built in the 1940s at 353 River Road.

Patrick Corey said he plans to attend tonight’s meeting and present the council with about 70 signatures from his neighbors who oppose the rezoning.

“With the rezoning comes fewer permitted uses,” he said. “Some of my neighbors have chickens and pigs. It adds to the ambiance of the area.”

Dan Plummer owns 25 acres and raises beef cattle on his parents’ farm at 358 River Road. Because the operation would predate the new zoning, the farm would be exempt from the changes. But Plummer said he would lose the designation if he stopped farming for a couple of years.

The Land Use Ordinance Committee developed the proposed zoning in response to a request for a change by Anania and Associates, which invests in manufacturing companies and their real estate holdings. It has proposed splitting a lot it owns on Mechanic Street that extends into the industrial district.

Brooks More, director of planning for Windham, said the town couldn’t change the zoning for one property. It had to look at the entire village district.

More said town officials looked at Windham’s 2003 comprehensive plan for guidance. The plan identified the proposed medium-density residential district as the area where growth should be directed.

“Just because there are farms today, it doesn’t mean there will be farms 20 years from now,” More said on Monday. “If people want to develop their property, they should have the option.”

The five-member Land Use Ordinance Committee has three developers on it, including Town Councilor Peter Busque, owner of Busque Construction Co.

Corey questioned the motives of committee members in proposing a zoning change that would lead to development.

The Town Council will have the final say on the zoning change, after a public hearing and a recommendation from the Planning Board. Busque said no one on the council owns land in the district.

“Landowners would be able to get four times as many lots as they did before,” he said. “It would increase the value of their land. We were just following the guidelines of the comprehensive plan.”