Council OKs batching plants in city limits
Meier Ready Mix is ready for the next step in constructing a concrete batching plant in Tonganoxie.
At Monday night's city council meeting, the council unanimously approved a measure that would allow concrete batching plants in the light industrial (I-2) zoning district. Under the measure the city approved, the concrete batching operations would have to be contained in a building.
After the vote, Gene Meier, Topeka, owner of a concrete company that hopes to open a plant in Tonganoxie, expressed pleasure with the council's decision.
"I like it," Meier said, "I like it a lot."
Meier's exact plans now must be approved by the planning commission and city commission.
During the discussion before the vote, Linda Zacher, city planner, told the council, "We have someone who wants to put a concrete plant in the city, and we don't really have a clear-cut place to put it."
Any such operation would abide by normal restrictions as required by state and federal laws, Zacher said.
"In addition, we could use a special-use permit to impose more restrictions," she added.
At its Jan. 5 meeting, the Tonganoxie Planning Commission unanimously voted to allow concrete batching plants in I-2 zoning, if owners of such plants obtain a special-use permit.
Council member Kathy Graveman expressed concern, stating, "I don't want to just create a place for them by changing the zoning."
Zacher explained that the planning commission's recommendation was to put the concrete plant in an I-2 zoned area, and to further regulate it by means of a special-use permit.
"My question is," Graveman said, "Where does it (the concrete plant) belong?"
Chris Eppley, city administrator, responded, "That's up to the city council."
Graveman then asked for a definition of an enclosed structure. Zacher said it is a building with walls and a roof that would be subject to size and height restrictions.
The city would regulate the concrete plant by making the plant adhere to the requirements of a special-use permit, Zacher said.
"I think that we have safeguarded ourselves very well," Zacher said.
Also Monday night, the council approved a rezoning request from Steven Sturgeon for a mobile home park planned along U.S. Highway 24-40 south of Smiley Road. The zoning change from R (rural) to R4b (mobile home park) affects six acres adjacent to a 15-acre tract already zoned for a mobile home park.