November 5, 2018

HARRISON TOWNSHIP ZONING COMMISSION

HEARING MINUTES

November 5, 2018

The Harrison Township Zoning Commission held a special hearing on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 6:00pm at the Harrison Township Building, 2746 Weigand Road, Lockbourne, OH  43137.  The hearing was to hear, review and vote on an application from The Delong Co, Clinton Wisconsin to rezone Parcels D1200030023700. D1200030023701. D1200030023600, & D1200030023500 from Farm/Residential to the Rickenbacker Business Development District.  The Delong Company also wants to rezone Parcels D1200030023400 & D1200030023300 from General Business to the Rickenbacker Business Development District.  The proposed use would be storage, distribution, truck and transfer terminal for grain products.  These parcels are located between 10338 E. SR 762 to and including 10420 E. SR 762. 

The hearing was called to order by Chairman Kelly Spriggs at 6:00pm.  Present were:  Kelly Spriggs, Lisa Darnell, Matt Rayburn, Ronde Cook-Brushart, Ryan Thompson, Debi Hulse and Dale Hoover.  Also present were:  Craig Stevenson, Harral & Stevenson Civil Engineers; William (Bo) Delong, The Delong Company; Scott Metzger, Pickaway Co. farmer;  David Wall, Columbus Regional Airport Authority; Kristen Easterday, Columbus Regional Airport Authority and neighboring residents: Cary and Denice Coffey, Darryl Buckler, Darryl & Karen Krahn, Ray Beane, and Thomas Persinger.

Kelly Spriggs, Chairman, welcomed everyone.  She announced that tonight’s hearing would be taped.  She explained that everyone would be able to briefly speak at the hearing.  There will be a 3 minute time limit on speaking.  She explained that the purpose of tonight’s hearing would be to make a recommendation to the Harrison Township Trustees.  Debi Hulse, Secretary, read the procedures for tonight’s hearing.

Bo Delong from the Delong Company and Craig Stevenson, Civil Engineer from Harral and Stevenson would be reviewing and explaining the application and proposed business.  Craig Stevenson stated that The Delong Company would like to have 6 parcels rezoned.  4 of these parcels are presently zoned Farm/Residential and 2 are presently zoned General Business.

Bo Delong presented each member of the Commission a booklet containing informative facts, pictures and letters to give a visual to his presentation of the proposed project and present sites.  The Delong Company is a 6 generation family business.  It has been around for over 100 years.  The company’s business is about grain, fertilizer, country elevators, exporting grain and feed stuffs.  Their main products are soybeans, non-GMO food, soybeans, wheat and other grains.  This project would be an Export site.  They would export grains and DDGs to other countries.  SE Asia is the biggest market.  They would buy 70% from country elevators and 30% from local producers.  There will be a limited amount of storage space at the facility.   The product would be shipped out quickly.  They estimate 10,000 containers per year would leave their site and go North on SR 762 to the Intermodal.  They estimate 6-7 million bushels of soybeans and 100,000 tons of DDGs would be exported.  The majority of this product would come from Pickaway, Fairfield and Madison Counties.  The Delong Company would add healthy competition to the present market.  They typically purchase at a higher price than their competitors.

The actual terminal will be built in the Northeast corner of the properties which is the farthest from residential properties.    The Dump building will be enclosed to keep noise and dust at a minimum.  They will be able to stage approximately 30 trucks on the property so there will not be a back-up on SR 762.  The DDGs (Dried Distiller Grains) will be directly loaded into containers.  Incoming trucks carrying this product will have an appointment so they will not be backed up.  They will be building a 250,000 bushel bin for soybeans.  Additional buildings may be built in the future.  Soybeans will be inspected, graded and stored until they are shipped.

The FAA has given permission on the height of buildings proposed.  Bo Delong showed pictures and told about other terminals in the Delong Company.

The Delong Co. is in the export business.  This will not affect the total number of containers presently in the area.  There will be 0 increases in Drayage traffic.  Farmers will be traveling to the terminal.  There will be a 3% increase in truck traffic.  This traffic will consist of farmers and trucks from Ethanol plants coming to the facility.

95% of the Drayage traffic will be during daylight hours.  The Operating hours will be 7:00am to 5:00pm.  Containers will be loaded during these hours.

Housekeeping items of significance are:  They will be OSHA compliant.  OEPA will be issuing an air quality permit.  The trucks will be unloading product inside as well as the containers will be loaded inside.  The entire lot will be asphalt.  There could be grain dust during the day, but it will be cleaned up every night.  The equipment will not have back-up horns. This will eliminate some noise.  There will be signs and yellow lines where there will be no persons or traffic. There was a sound study done at Joliet, IL.  With equipment on, the decibel level was 68 and off was 67.  The study was performed at 3 different distances. 

In the booklet, were letters and documentation of the Noise Study, a letter from the Konlaka Grain Inspection regarding the cleanliness of all facilities, a letter from the Will Co. Farm Bureau regarding the company’s trustworthy and good neighbor attributes, a letter from Mike Estadt, Pickaway County Agent regarding a virtual tour, a letter from Jan Shannon, Pickaway Co. Farm Bureau and examples of community involvement and philanthropic activity. 

Kelly Spriggs thanked Bo Delong for a very through and informative presentation.  She clarified that all Delong facilities combined exported 95,000 containers per year.  Kelly asked if any trucks or truck maintence would be on-site.  The answer was that Delong uses contract trucks and no truck maintenance would be completed on site.  Kelly asked about the grates on the floor of the dump buildings.  Bo Delong explained that the grain goes down through the grates and then travels up to the elevator.

Kelly Spriggs asked Zoning Inspector, Dale Hoover about the 250,000 bushel hopper.  In the future if more space would be needed, will they need to go to the Zoning Appeals Board to get permission to build?  Dale Hoover stated they will not have to go through Zoning Appeals.

Matt Rayburn asked about the noise from the grain elevators.  He asked if the fans, dryers, etc at this site would be as noisy as the grain dryers of local farmers.  Bo Delong stated that they use different fans.  They are much less noisy.  The use Centrifical fans with noise suppressors.

Ronde Cook-Brushart asked about the hours of operation.  Would there be weekend hours or night work?  Bo Delong answered that there was a possibility that they may be open 3 – 4 Saturdays out of the year.  Ronde also asked about lighting.  The lighting plan will need to be approved by the Zoning Inspector.  The lighting will be shaded lighting with no blaring lights.  Ronde also asked about signage.  There will be a sign on the road and 1 on a building.

Ronde asked about new jobs.  Bo Delong stated that besides the manager which will be moving to this area, all hires would be local.  They will employ 4 – 5 at the site.  Additionally, there will be 2-3 Federal Inspectors, 2 spotter drivers, 6 truck drivers.  14 – 15 new jobs will be created.

Ronde asked what to expect during harvest.  Bo Delong stated there should not be emission from our facility.  He stated he has asthma and does not have any problems.

Ryan Thompson had a concern with storm water run-off.  The run-off will drain to the ODOT ditch.

Kelly Spriggs asked about the buildings currently on the properties.  All will be removed.  The property which formerly was Mac’s Bottled Gas is now a Bit Coin business.  That building will stay.  Delong’s are buying part of that property.  They will need to split the parcels.  These 2 parcels have had 1 owner and are currently General Business.  The front half will remain General Business and the back half will be Rickenbacker Business Development District.  They will be re-parceled.

Kelly stated that the retention ponds will be approved by the Pickaway County Engineer.  She noted that the site plan calls for mounds and evergreens.

Kelly Spriggs, chairman, asked if anyone in the audience would like to speak.  She asked them to state their name and address.

Darryl Buckler:  The old Mac’s Bottled Gas is now a Bit coin business.  Is that still a business?  How is that not spot-zoning?  Dale Hoover answered that it is not spot-zoning.  It is already General Business.

Denice Coffey stated that they are the last 3 residents left.  She is concerned about spot zoning.  She said that Northpointe had to buy properties because of spot zoning.  Kelly Spriggs answered.  Northpointe was not spot-zoning.  They did buy additional properties buy it was not because of spot-zoning.  The Delong Company are not skipping properties.

Denice Coffey stated that the traffic is horrible.  She can’t get out of her driveway now.  900 trucks a month will be added to the traffic.  They have had 5 vehicles land in her front yard in the last 4 years.  She is also concerned about property values.  She is concerned about noise.  She stated that water does not drain off her property now.  Will their drainage be adequate?  Kelly Spriggs answered that the EPA will approve the drainage plans.

Darryl Buckler had a concern about the traffic.  There will be more traffic and the warehouses haven’t opened yet which will add more.  He questioned why they couldn’t build on any other existing elevator site.  Bo Delong answered that they looked at the former Pandora site in Duvall.  NS would not allow them to purchase the property.  They would only give them a 3 year lease.  The Delong Company is building a good facility.  If we built in Ashville, the traffic would still come up SR 762.

Thomas Persinger asked when the parcels north of him were rezoned to General Business.  Kelly answered that he would have to look at the County Auditor site.  They have been General Business for a long time.  He asked about screenings and/or a perimeter fence.  Craig Stevenson answered there would be mounds of dirt and evergreens.

Kelly Spriggs asked if there were any proponents for the Delong Company.

Scott Metzger, farmer, stated that this would be positive because of better competition for agriculture for this area.  Over 60% of the soybeans in the US go to China.  Trade with China and tariffs are a concern to farmers.  This will improve the community and economy of the area.

Ray Beane spoke and said that he bought his property as an investment.  He is selling to the Delong Company.  Companies will keep buying properties.  This is better than the state taking our property.  The Port Authority is going to be huge.  Progress is coming.  He has a concern that he never sees police in this area.

Dave Wall from the Columbus Regional Airport Authority read a letter to the Commission.  This property is 1 mile South of Rickenbacker.  They have concerns regarding wildlife.  There will be a food source and will bring wildlife to the area which will present a hazard.  They are against the rezoning.  If the plan is approved, there should be a plan with added modifications to deal with wildlife.  They are concerned about airport safety.  He mentioned the Rickenbacker Design Review Board.  Kelly Spriggs answered that the Design Review Board for Harrison Township has not been set up.  The Township Trustees adopted the design criteria from DUKE’s 1st design plan.

The Commission discussed the application.  Kelly stated that this does meet the Strategic Land Use Plan and Zoning Code for Rickenbacker Development District.  The JEDD is coming South to Duvall Road.  This fits with the Land Use Plan.  We are an agricultural community.  The Delong Company fits into our agricultural community.  Kelly Spriggs stated that in her opinion, 2 feet mounds were not high enough.  She also stated that the JEDD is bound by wildlife management.

The Commission agreed that this fits into the Land Use Plan and the JEDD.  Progress is coming.  We are all impacted by the JEDD and the progress.  We have all been impacted by progress, traffic, etc.  We need to follow the Guidelines we have been given.

Kelly Spriggs moved to recommend to the trustees to accept the application to the Rickenbacker Business Development District with the following modifications:  1. the mounds be increased to 6 feet and planted with Pines that measure 3 feet at planting.  These would be next to residential properties.  2.  There would be an action plan developed for dealing with wildlife that does not include using pyrotechnics.  3.  The Detention/Retention and drainage are approved by the Pickaway County Engineers Office.

Ronde Cook-Brushart seconded this motion.  Roll call vote was called for.  Members will vote and will then add comments after the vote.

VOTING:

Lisa Darnell                             Yes

Matt Rayburn                          Yes

Ronde Cook-Brushart              Yes

Ryan Thompson                      Yes

Kelly Spriggs                            Yes

Lisa Darnell:  They have met all requirements asked of them.  We need to pick our battles and this will help the community.

Ronde Cook-Brushart:  It is part of the planned business use.  Our community can live with this business.

Matt Rayburn:  It fits the guidelines, will bring good paying jobs and help our farming community.

Ryan Thompson:  Concurs with other members.  It will bring good competition to the economy and agricultural community.

Kelly Spriggs:  It fits in our planned use.  It fits in the Rickenbacker Business Development District.  It will benefit our agricultural based community.

The Harrison Township Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the Harrison Township Trustees to accept the application. 

Kelly Spriggs closed the hearing by stating that the next step will be a hearing with the trustees.  If you were notifies for this hearing, you will be notified for the next hearing.  It will also be printed in The Circleville Herald.  Your voices are heard in public hearings.  Thanks for attending and giving input.

Ronde Cook-Brushart moved to adjourn the hearing.  Matt Rayburn seconded.  Hearing adjourned at 7:45pm.

Debi Hulse

Harrison Township Zoning Commission Secretary