BEATRICE – A judge has given both sides time to submit written arguments in a Gage County District Court bench trial over a zoning dispute.
Gage County’s denial of a permit for an anhydrous ammonia operation is being challenged by Holtmeier Brothers, Inc.
The company’s application for a special use permit for an anhydrous operation about five miles west of Beatrice was recommended for approval by the Gage County Planning Commission, but then rejected by the county board, on a 3-4 vote.
Holtmeier Brothers had sought to develop the operation on land it owns along Southwest 117th Road. A grain bin facility is already located at the site, and the expansion proposed two 30,000-gallon anhydrous storage tanks and more than 20 nurse tanks, for selling and distributing anhydrous ammonia. The land is currently zoned Agriculture-one.
The county board cited that the operation would be dangerously close to residential homes, could cause harm or damage, and is not an appropriate location for the facility. Nine property owners who own acreages in the area, have intervened in the case.
The county planning commission unanimously recommended approval of the special use permit, on January 12th of 2017. The county supervisors’ denial of the permit, came March 29th of last year.
Presiding Judge Julie Smith says she’ll take the matter under advisement after lawyers for both sides have submitted their written arguments.