Gage County Planning Commission to Hear First-Ever Rezoning Request

BEATRICE – For the first time, the Gage County Planning and Zoning Commission will be considering a request to rezone a small area of property, west of Beatrice.  It will be the first such request since zoning regulations were established in the late 1990s.

The request, filed by Ron Mazza, involves land that recently was involved in a controversial permit application for an anhydrous ammonia facility, that ultimately was voted down by the Gage County Board.

Mazza is seeking to rezone an area from an Ag-1, to Ag-4 district.   A public hearing on the request is planned for Monday, May 8th.  At that commission meeting, a public hearing will also be held on an application for a temporary asphalt plant, that would be established along West Walnut Road, about two miles southeast of Odell.

Meanwhile, the Gage County Planning Commission will begin to work with Hanna:Keelan Associates on an update of the county’s comprehensive plan and zoning regulations.

Planning Commissions deal with a set of seven court-upheld criteria, when deciding whether to recommend approval or denial of permits. Gage County Planning Commission Chairman Dennis Rosene says it leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

:32                  “or not”

The seven criteria originate from case law.  Commission member Terry Acton says the outcome of projects seems to depend more on who’s appointed to the commission and elected to the Gage County Board.

:16                  “with this stuff”

Acton says it’s a constant battle to protect the ability to raise animals, in Gage County.

This week, the Gage County Board approved a $14,000 agreement with the consulting firm, to work with the planning commission.  That’s expected to be an eight-month long review, possibly up to a year to put in place any possible changes.

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