DJI 0088On January 20, 2016, the Clark County Commissioners conducted a public hearing on two rezoning cases of 87+ acres at the intersection of SR 235 and Dille Road. The first case rezones 26+ acres on the south side of Dille Road, located east of the Park Layne Elementary School from A-1 Agricultural District to R-3 Medium Density Single and Two-Family Residence District. The second case rezones 34+ acres on the northeast corner of SR 235 and Dille from A-1 Agricultural District to I-1’S’ Industrial Specific Use and 27+ acres on the north side of Dille from A-1 Agricultural District to R-1 Rural Residential. The Commissioners postponed a final decision on both rezoning cases until February 3, 2016.

According to Community Development Director Tom Hale, the Clark County Planning Commission recommended that the Clark County Commissioners approve all three rezoning requests. However, the Clark County Rural Zoning Commission objected to the rezoning of the 34+ acres to Industrial Specific Use, but approved the other two requests. Unfortunately, the Industrial Rezoning request is included with the request to rezone the 27+ acres north of Dille and cannot be voted on separately.

Agent Joe Roller for Property Owner Art Paradise addressed the primary concern for the rezoning requests. He said, “Traffic control at the intersection of Dille and SR 235 is an issue. It is a traffic bottleneck at the start and end of the school day. There is already more traffic at that time than the area can handle. It is almost impossible to make a left turn onto SR 235 from Dille. However, the developer plans to build on the rural residential area first. The proposed lots will be from two to four acres. This will have the least impact on traffic. “

Bethel Township Trustee David Phares addressed the township’s concerns about the project. He said, “We are concerned about the traffic impact of all three areas for the school. We would like to see Dille aligned with Bellefontaine and a safety study conducted on SR 235.” He questioned, “Why hasn’t ODOT been brought on Board?”

Phares added, “The Township is not opposed to development, but we are concerned about the cost to the township and the safety of our residents. In addition, the proposed development area is bedrock, which will make access to water and proper drainage an issue. We would like to see a total plan. As it stands now, we are opposed to all three.”

Commissioner Richard Lohnes explained, “We can’t get a traffic study until the rezoning is in place. No one is going to spend the time and money unless there is a possibility of development.”

Hale clarified, “The development of each of these areas is subject to the development standards of a subdivision.”

Roller added, “You already have protection. The rezoning just means you can get in line. We don’t have a shot of bringing this development without the zoning.”

Commissioner John Detrick proposed that the decision be postponed until the February 3, 2016 meeting to give the commissioners additional time and potentially more information to make the decision. The commissioners will meet on February 3, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. in the Public Chambers at 50 E. Columbia Street. The meeting is open to the public.

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