Proponents, Opponents Spar Over Rural Gage County Rezoning Request

BEATRICE –  In two weeks, the Gage County Board will consider a request to rezone a small rural area west of Beatrice, from an Ag-one designation to Ag-four.

Proponents of the change say that would better characterize the rural residential nature of the area.  Opponents say it constitutes spot zoning, and would hamstring future agriculture development.  The request involves the east half of section five, in Lincoln Township.

During a Wednesday public hearing, the applicant for the zoning change, Ron Mazza said acreage owners are seeking some protection, through rezoning.

:07                  “ag area”

The change for zone request came following the county board’s rejection of a special use permit for an anhydrous ammonia operation along Southwest 117th Road.  County Planning Commission Chairman Dennis Rosene said the commission recommended denial of the rezoning partly because it would constitute spot zoning.

:09                  “Gage County”

Terri Sue Mazza says the area in question is residential, but isn’t in opposition to agriculture.

:07                  “does not change”

Kristen Hassebrook, Executive Director for the Alliance For the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, said AFAN was approached by concerned producers in the area over the possible zone change.

:36                  “prevent”

Gage County has been encountering an increasing number of disputes involving competing land usage…something County Supervisor Gary Lytle says is not just a local issue.

:11                  “done already”

In this application for rezoning, the applicant for the anhydrous facility, Mike Holtmeier said the last home built on the property was in 2005, five years after the county established the comprehensive plan.

:22                  “stifle development”

Gage County recently hired a consulting firm to help review the county’s comprehensive plan and zoning regulations.

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