By Jim Misunas
LARNED — Local citizens prepared a petition to protest a planned consideration of rezoning of a property scheduled for the Larned City/County Planning Commission at 6 p.m. Thursday at city hall.
The Pawnee County Co-op is requesting a zoning change from R-2 Two Family Residential to I-1 Light Industrial Zone. If the City/County Planning Commission approves the request, the Larned City Council will consider the approved change at a future date.
The zoning change would allow for agricultural chemicals and dry fertilizer manufacturing/mixing. The Pawnee County Co-op will store dry fertilizer at the property.
If all goes well, the Co-op plans to park semis legally on part of the property and build a fertilizer building that will help with distribution. Some property will be cleared to improve the neighborhood.
“We’re a Pawnee County compnay that has been in business since 1905,” said Kim Barnes, Pawnee County Co-op. “We are one of the largest tax payers in town and we operate in a safe manner. We are planning to expand our business and this new facility will be taxed.”
Hugh Mounday, representing the Pawnee County Co-op, has made an application for a conditional use permit/variance at the Toles and Adams Addition, a vacant property east of the former Doerr Metal Factory, and properties at 308 E. 4th, 318 Toles and 424 Johnson.
Shirley Caro said she is helping with a group that has prepared a petition to fight the proposed rezoning change.
“We respectfully request the Pawnee Co-op board to consider its plans,” the petition states. “Our objections will negatively affect our neighborhood. This plant will devalue our property values. The commercial development will decrease our neighborhood and environment.”
Caro said they are concerned about possible health-related issues, including fumes, dust and noise. She believes older citizens with pre-existing health conditions could be negatively affected.
“I’m totally against it,” Caro said. “I believe the fumes will affect the young and old people. It’s not fair to the students in the area.”
Barnes said the Board of Zoning Appeals will consider a height variance next week for a proposed building that would currently be limited to 45 feet.
The Board of Zoning Appeals will have a public hearing is scheduled at 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the city offices, 417 Broadway. Jim Froetschner serves as chairperson for the Board of Zoning Appeals.