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County Commission Modifies, Approves Rezoning Request

The agenda for the November 28 meeting of the Putnam County Commission included consideration of a request to rezone approximately 9 acres of land located off Teays Valley Road and adjacent to Tiger Lane from Mixed Residential (R-2) to Suburban Commercial (C-1).

Following a 50-minute public hearing and statements from each commissioner, the Commission approved rezoning one third of the nine acre parcel to C-1 in a 2 to 1 vote. Commissioners Andy Skidmore and Brian Ellis voted for the change while Commissioner Steve Deweese opposed the rezoning.

During the public hearing, seven individuals expressed opposition to rezoning of the property because of increased traffic, safety and property value issues. C. J. Pifer, the property owner and developer requesting the zoning change, stated that the present R-2 zoning limits him from recouping his investment. Pifer stated that current market demand is for low-cost housing and that the traffic congestion that such housing would create would be greater than that resulting from commercial development.

Commission president Skidmore stated that he opposed rezoning the entire 9 acres because it was not consistent with the zoning of other property in Teays Valley. Skidmore said that frontage on Teays Valley Road is typically zoned commercial with residential zoning directly behind. Skidmore stated that the county has requested that the Department of Transportation widen Teays Valley Road to three lanes and between Sheetz and the Dairy Queen and install traffic lights. The request to DOT is supported by sanctioned traffic studies but no timeline has been put forth.

Commissioner Ellis said that the back 6 acres of the parcel was not conducive to commercial development because of the lay of the land. He stated that while the current congestion is bad the State will not correct it until it gets worse. He sees the rezoning of the Teays Valley Road frontage as leading to an eventual win-win situation.

Deweese stated that congestion and safety issue must be addressed before he would support any change from R-2 to C-1.

The partial rezoning that was approved is contingent upon Pifer submitting approved map defining the three acres which the commission approved.

In other business, the commission approved the appointment of Jason Asbury to the Putnam County Solid Waste Authority in a 2 to 1 vote with Deweese voting, nay. Asbury’s term will expire on June 30, 2024.

The commission agreed to accept an offer of $12,300 for settlement in e-cigarette litigation with Altria.

The next commission meeting will be December 12 at 9 a.m.

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