Request for bus storage, repair business permit draws public commentEnvironmental and noise issues among residents’ concerns
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Several property owners residing along Nobles County 5 southeast of Worthington spoke in opposition to a request for a conditional use permit during Wednesday night’s meeting of the Nobles County Planning and Zoning Commission.
The request, brought forth by H&S Bus Lines Inc., LLC was for a permit to operate a home-based bus and van storage and repair business at 26724 Read Ave.
Business owners Hector Andrade and Samuel Solis have operated the storage and repair business for approximately two years, but moved it to their new site last November.
Because the property is located within the one-half mile corridor of Worthington, the Joint Jurisdictional Task Force convened earlier in the evening to discuss zoning issues (the land is zoned for agricultural use) and address any concerns related to the operation of the business.
The task force approved the request with several conditions, which were then presented to the P&Z Commission for the next stage in the process.
During the P&Z’s public hearing, attendees were allowed to ask questions and comment on the request.
Curt Pearson, who resides to the north of the site, said he had numerous concerns, including environmental issues related to disposal of vehicle fluids, whether vehicles would be washed on site and if the property had a compliant septic system. Pearson also cited concerns about noise coming from the property, the potential for property values to decline in the neighborhood and the aesthetics of having school buses and numerous vehicles parked at the residence.
Michael Kennedy, who resides directly south of the property, said he, too, was concerned about noise.
“I’m against it for one reason — the noise,” he told the commission. Kennedy said he just bought his home within the last year and a half and would likely have to sell it for a loss if the business was allowed to operate there.
Andrade said buses usually leave the residence by 6:30 a.m. and are generally back by 6 p.m., unless there is an after-school program requiring busing later into the evening.
“We intend to repair buses whenever needed,” Andrade said. “It’s not our intention to work late every night.”
Fred Brandt, who resides two houses south of the H&S property, cited concerns about the number of vehicles allowed at the site.
“If we’re going to have 20 cars there, I really don’t care to have that sight in my backyard,” Brandt said.
After taking public comment, commissioners heard the conditions set by the Joint Jurisdictional Task Force. Those conditions included that no more than seven buses and no more than five vans be parked on-site; parking must be limited to the east (back) side of the property; environmental regulations be adhered to; no more than eight tires be stored outside; there be no parking on the road and no washing of vehicles on the property.
After considering the public comment and the conditions placed on the permit, the P&Z Commission voted unanimously to approve the request. The permit request will now go before the Nobles County Board of Commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday. If it is approved there, the permit would be reviewed in six months and then each year thereafter for its six-year term.
The Planning and Zoning Commission approved several other requests for conditional use permits Wednesday night. There was no public comment given on the requests, which included:
* A permit for Henning Construction of Adrian to operate a gravel pit in the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 30, Lorain Township.
* A permit for Trey Davis of Worthington to operate a small engine and skid loader repair business from his residence in the west half of the northeast quarter of Section 28, Elk Township.
* A permit for Weg’s Blue and White Dairy of Bigelow to construct a 116- by 112-foot addition onto an existing freestall barn located in the northwest quarter of Section 24, Ransom Township.
* A permit for Son-D-Farms of Adrian to construct two 102- by 192-foot total confinement barns with concrete pits below to house 2,400 head of swine each. The barns will be constructed in the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 21, Ransom Township.
* A permit for Myron and Richard Grussing of Rushmore to construct a 101- by 172-foot total confinement barn with a concrete pit below to house 2,200 head of swine in the north half of the northeast quarter of Section 34, Olney Township.
While commissioners approved the requests for conditional use permits, they must all go before the Nobles County Board. The hearings for each of the requests will be conducted at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the board room on the third floor of the Nobles County Government Center.