Light-industrial rezoning proposal moves to city council

Plan commission gives favorable recommendation

A request to rezone 18.5 acres of agricultural farm land for industrial use will head to Columbus City Council with a favorable recommendation, despite opposition from nearby homeowners.

Jim Puckett, 6550 N. River Road, Columbus, and his attorney, Mike McIver, went before the Columbus Plan Commission on Wednesday to seek approval to rezone property on the west side of County Road 150 West from single-family residential to light industrial. The property is located about 270 feet south of Paula Drive near the Tudor Addition subdivision.

Under the light industrial, or I-1 designation, permitted uses would allow light industrial assembly and distribution, a mini-warehouse self-storage facility, a research and development facility, a warehouse and distribution facility or a wholesale facility, according to the city’s zoning code. The city has recommended permitted uses of the property, limited to light industrial assembly and distribution or a research-and-development facility as part of commitments and conditions for the site.

A pair of homeowners expressed concerns about the impact any development could have on neighbors living in the area.

Tammy Foist, who lives in the Tudor Addition subdivision, said she had concerns about lighting and potential noise that would be generated from a facility being built nearby.

Melinda Deaver, who has lived on Paula Drive for three years, expressed similar concerns to the commission regarding any industrial development.

“It’s right in my backyard,” Deaver said. “I can’t afford to lose money on my home. When I moved in, I couldn’t see any of the buildings or the lights, but now I can.”

Commission member Zack Ellison said that if the rezoning were approved, it would be consistent with other industrial designations within the area. Based on the permitted uses under the light industrial designation, the facility would be a “pretty quiet operation,” Ellison said.

Under the plan for the property, County Road 150 West would be vacated along the frontage of the property with access being available from Omega Drive to the east, according to city planning documents.

“It seems to me there’s going to be industrial property there,” Ellison said.

Ellison was among the nine members who voted to send the rezoning request to Columbus City Council with a favorable recommendation. Commission member Barry Kastner was absent, while fellow commission member Laurie Booher had left the meeting when voting took place.

Puckett said after the meeting he wanted to make the acreage available for potential development. He has not had discussions with any parties concerning the land and there are no final plans for the site.

The rezoning request from Puckett, representing the Barbara Puckett Revocable Living Trust, is the second one in a year for that property. Last October, Puckett sought to change 21 acres of farmland from single-family residential to general industrial to make the land available for future industrial development. However, it received an unfavorable recommendation by the plan commission and was withdrawn for consideration in May.

What's next

Columbus City Council will consider a request to rezone the property from single-family residential to light industrial during its 6 p.m. meeting Nov. 7 at Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com