Farm rezoning raises neighbors’ concerns

Bartholomew County Commissioners chose to hold off on approving a rezoning at State Road 46 and U.S. 31 east of Columbus yesterday. But the approval could still move forward even if the commissioners choose not to act.

Bruce Nolting asked the commissioners to approve the rezoing of just over 41 acres of property from Agriculture to Commercial. That change, if approved, could allow a future developer to turn the property into a wide range of uses from a retail center or liquor store to a warehouse or museum.

Several neighbors showed up at the commissioners meeting to protest, citing concerns about what that future use could be and said they were surprised that Nolting didn’t talk to them personally before seeking the government’s approval. However Nolting said he had no buyer in mind, so there were no future plans in place to discuss.

The commissioners chose to table┬áthe request, urging Nolting to talk with his neighbors first. However, because the request has already been recommended for approval by the county plan commission, planner Jeff Bergman said that it would automatically be approved in 90 days even if the commissioners don’t bring it back for a vote.