September 24, 2018

HARRISON TOWNSHIP ZONING COMMISSION

HEARING MINUTES

September 24, 2018

The Harrison Township Zoning Commission Special Hearing was called to order by Chairman Kelly Spriggs at 6:00 PM at the Harrison Township House, 2746 Weigand Road, Lockbourne  43137. 

Present were:  Kelly Spriggs, Lisa Darnell, Matt Rayburn, Ronde Cook-Brushart, Debi Hulse and Dale Hoover.  Also present were:  Wm. (Bo) Delong, Craig Stevenson, and Harrison Township residents Chad Timmons, David Wippel and Kari Roberts.  Absent was Ryan Thompson.

Kelly Spriggs gave a brief welcome to all present.  Debi Hulse, Secretary, read the hearing procedures.

Craig Stevenson from Harral and Stevenson, Civil Engineering and Surveying, presented the site map of the proposed Grain Elevator.  He presented an overview of the application and of the proposed project.  This site is adjacent to the Northpointe Development.

This will be an Agricultural use project.  The entrance will be on SR 762 and will follow ODOT specifications.  The Drainage will be similar to the Northpointe Development.  There is Industrial Development on 3 sides of this site.  There is residential property on the Southside.  Moundings and trees will be used to screen the site. 

Bo Delong of the Delong Company spoke.  The Delong Company is a family owned company.  They are in the Grain Business.  They have several Grain Elevators and export grain and feed by containers to other countries.  They will be in close proximity to the Intermodal which will also be  referred  to as the NS rail yard. 

Bo Delong presented the site plan.  Trucks will enter from SR762; make a loop, dump and leave.  The feed stuff will be placed in containers, the grain in an elevator.  The containers will go straight to the NS rail yard.  The trucks will enter the site.  The loop is large enough to hold the tractors so there will not be a backup on SR 762.

The Delong Company owns several grain elevators in several states.   The buildings will consist of a Dump building, scales and containers.

Chairman Kelly spoke and inquired about the impact this would have on the existing grain elevators in the area.  Clifton Brothers is the only grain elevator in the immediate area.  Pandora Grain in Duvall vacated approximately 4 years ago.  Bo Delong said there may be some impact on Clifton’s in Ashville.  There is a possibility that some farmers may choose to bring grain to Delong’s as 30% of their business is buying grain from farmers.  Delongs may buy grain from Clifton’s since 70% of their business is buying grain from other grain elevators and then exporting it.  Delong’s competitor would be Cargill.  He believes this would be beneficial to the farming community.

Kelly asked how the grain will be stored.  The grain and feed would be stored in silos or containers.  The containers will be sent to the Intermodal.  Their goal is to send the containers to the Intermodal on a daily basis.  The average is 1.62 days. 

How many containers will be stored on site?  There will be 80 containers on the lot.  Their goal is to fill 10,000 containers per year.  That is 40 containers per day.

Matt Rayburn asked how the containers would be moved.  The containers will be moved by semi tractors.  Delong would hire 5 to 6 tractors and operators.  They may grow from there.  They hire independent tractors.

Ronde Cook-Brushart asked about the Environment.  Will there be pollutants, grain dust in the air?  How much noise?  The Delong Company will get an Ohio EPA permit.   The EPA will control the ratio of how many pounds of dust: tons of grain will be allowed.  The Delong Company will follow EPA Guidelines.

Kelly asked if the General Business to the South was the former McManus Property.  It is.  There is a computer business there now.

Lisa Darnell asked about Harvest Time.  Will the traffic back up?  How will the traffic be handled?  Will there be a pull-off lane on SR 762 for the trucks?  The trucks will come off the main road and travel back to the building.  They will stage themselves on site.  They will use the Trucker App.  Using this app, they will schedule an appointed time to be there to control traffic.

Craig Stevenson showed the truck path and holding area for trucks for further clarification.

Kelly asked about the number of employees.  There will be 10 – 12 employees at a time.  There will be employees working the scales, loading containers, to drop containers, Inspectors, spotters and truck drivers.  The hours of operation will be 7 – 4 possibly to 5 Monday through Friday.  Possibly Saturday mornings.

Will there be noise at night?  They will not load boxes at night.  The trucks or tractors don’t beep when backing.  They will load boxes from 7 to 4 possibly 5 Monday through Friday.  If they get backed up, drivers may pick up containers at night to avoid traffic congestion.  Kelly also asked, “The Quarry has trucks which only beep when close to something.  Will your trucks have this equipment?  The tractors don’t beep when backing.

Resident, David Wippel asked if the equipment had controls on beepers to turn down the volume.  Mr. Delong wasn’t aware of any volume controls. 

David Wippel stated he has a motorcycle shop in Duvall.  His property was next to the Pandora Grain site.  When it was operational, within 2 hours a motorcycle he had cleaned would be covered in dust.  He also stated that the well water was black.  There was a lot of noise at night.  Their houses in Duvall were dirty, semis tore up the road.  He added new windows and insulation and would still hear trains.  He had water problems.  Pandora hit a field tile which has never been repaired so he has water problems.  What kinds of problems will be here with this one?  Dale Hoover, Zoning Inspector, stated that the Pandora site was different.  Pandora leased the site from the Railroad.  The Railroad did not have to abide by rules and regulations set by the Township Trustees. 

David Wippel also asked why he and other residents did not get notified.  Kelly Spriggs explained that we follow rules from the Ohio Revised Code.  She then explained the rules of notification.

Kelly Spriggs asked about the products?  The products will be Soybeans and Dried Distillers Grains (DDGS).  The DDGS is a dry mash for animal feed.  It is a by-product of Ethanol. 

Kelly asked about rodents.  They will have a housekeeping plan from the EPA.  They are concerned about Food Safety and have followed plans in their other operations.  Their Chicago operation is next to the Home Depot warehouse.  Their Kansas City operation is in the midst of Northpointe.

Lisa Darnell asked about moving stuff at night.  The operation will be determined by congestion.  If congested, containers will be moved at night.  Currently, no farmers will be dumping after 4:00pm.  The Delong Company wants to build here because of the Intermodal.  80 – 90% of the trucks will be going to the NS rail yard at the Intermodal.

Kelly Spriggs stated that more and more large companies come in and buy land, build and the community never sees them.  How will your company be involved in the community?  Bo Delong stated that the The Delong Company is a “good neighbor”.  They will donate to agricultural events, activites, and organizations.  They donate to food pantries and other local charities.  They buy animals from 4-H kids at County Fairs, etc.

Resident, Kari Roberts, lives at the corner of Duvall Road and Ashville Pike.  She is concerned about noise at night and the traffic at the intersection of Duvall Road and Ashville Pike.  She states that the corner is ridiculous with traffic.  In the last 5 years, traffic and noise has gotten worse. 

Resident, Chad Timmons asked where most of the traffic will be going.  Bo Delong stated that almost all trucks will be going to the NS rail yard.  They will be taking the shortest route there which is to the North.

Kelly Spriggs asked Zoning Inspector Dale Hoover if he had any concerns.  Dale answered, “No.”  It follows the General Business Code.  The Strategic Land Use Plan is labeled Warehousing and Logistics.  It fits into that plan.

Ronde Cook Brushart stated that she abhors General Business.  We might approve this business but it may change in 5 years or longer.  She much prefers Planned Business over General Business. 

Kelly Spriggs read the definition of Planned Business District as well as the definition of General Business.  Bo Delong asked if the Commission could place a condition on their General Business zoning.

Kelly Spriggs asked Bo Delong if they were planning on adopting into the JEDD.  He answered, “Yes.”

Chairman Kelly Spriggs then asked if there were further discussion or if anyone had a motion.

Kelly Spriggs stated that the plan did fit within our zoning.  She asked if The Delong Company has ever shut down on operation.  Bo Delong answered that they did sell 1 operation to a farmer.  There was an operation in Newark, New Jersey that they leased the land and the port revoked the lease and took the operation to enlarge because they were adjacent.  Kelly Spriggs added that it fits in the Strategic Land Use Plan.

Ronde Cook-Brushart made a motion.  Her motion was:  To reject this application for General Business.  The Delong Company should reapply for Planned Business District zoning.  Matt Rayburn seconded this motion.

A roll call vote was called by Chairman Kelly Spriggs.

Ronde Cook Brushart-                                    Yes, to reject

Matt Rayburn-                                                Yes, to reject

Lisa Darnell-                                                    Yes, to reject

Kelly Spriggs-                                                   No

Ryan Thompson-                                             Absent- no vote

Ronde Cook-Brushart stated that she would be open to Planned Business.  She would also like more specifics on hours.

Matt Rayburn agreed on being open to Planned Business.  He would like to see definite business hours.

Lisa Darnell has concerns with the business hours and traffic.  She asked if there has been a traffic study.

Kelly Spriggs voted no on the motion.  She stated that we should have made a recommendation to make it a Planned Business and The Delong Company could have pulled their application to resubmit it.

The Harrison Township Zoning Commission will send the following recommendation to the Harrison Township Trustees.  We recommend rejecting the General Business application of The Delong Company.  The applicant should resubmit to rezone the property into the Planned Business District.  The applicant should resubmit the plan with more defined business hours and a traffic study.  The Commission has concerns with the lack of defined business hours and traffic on SR 762.

After the vote, Bo Delong questioned the Commission about their rejection.  He thought they were upset with the Intermodal.  Kelly Spriggs delivered a little history of our area and some of the concerns of the Zoning Commission and the public. 

Ronde Cook-Brushart moved to adjourn the hearing.  Matt Rayburn seconded the motion.  Motion carried.  The hearing adjourned at 7:30pm.

Debi Hulse

Harrison Township Zoning Commission Secretary