Board OKs rezoning requests

City officials have given final approval to rezone vacant land in northwest Columbus for industrial use, despite opposition from two council members.

Columbus City Council on Tuesday voted 4-2 to rezone 18.54 acres on the west side of County Road 150W from single-family residential to light industrial. City councilmen Frank Jerome and Laurie Booher voted against the proposal, while councilwoman Elaine Wagner was absent.

Resident Jim Puckett had made the request to rezone the property, which is about 270 feet south of Paula Drive near the Tudor Addition subdivision. Puckett’s attorney, Mike McIver, said in an earlier interview that no plans have been established for the site.

Permitted uses on the property would be limited to light industrial assembly and distribution or a research-and-development facility under commitments and conditions established by the city.

Jerome, who initially expressed concern two weeks ago about changing the zoning designation of the property, told his fellow council members that he wasn’t in favor of the proposed move. The change wouldn’t be a good fit since the area is meant to be residential, Jerome said.

He also said that residential, not industrial, was a reasonable use for the land.

City Councilman Frank Miller proposed an eight-foot berm on the north side of the property to provide a buffer between homeowners and any development that goes in at the site, which was approved.

Meanwhile, the council voted 5-1 Tuesday to rezone land that will be used to create an interfaith campus by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus and the Hindu Society of Southern Indiana. Jerome was the lone council member in attendance who voted against the proposal.

The council’s approval rezones a combined 8.56 acres at 7850 and 7930 Goeller Road from agriculture preferred to public/semi-public facilities.

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