Commission OKs annexation zoning

By Michael Seffrin -

SIDNEY — The Sidney Planning Commission Wednesday night recommended industrial zoning for an annexation area and posed questions about fire protection for it.

The commission recommended that Sidney City Council establish I-2, general industrial zoning for 25.249 acres on the north side of Fair and Schenk roads. The land is owned by Charles Cole and currently is crop-farmed.

The purpose of the annexation is to make the property available for development with city utilities and services. If the suggested zoning plan is accepted, the existing agricultural use is a legal nonconforming use, but could continue until such time as the nonconforming use ceases for two years, Community Services Director Barbara Dulworth said in her report to the commission. Industrial zoning for the area is in conformance with the city’s comprehensive plan, she said.

The commission discussed water service to the area, which led to questions about fire protection. City standards require water mains for industrial development to be sized to provide a targeted fire flow of 5,000 gallons per minute, and that water mains be looped.

Assistant Chief Chad Hollinger of the Department of Fire & Emergency Services told the commission that 5,000 gallons per minute is “a significant amount,” and with looping of water mains, “we won’t have any concerns with fighting a fire.”

Commission member David Gross referred to a statement in the Annexation Review Committee’s report: “The impact this annexation would have on city fire protection services is unknown at this time. Warehousing or light industrial development should not have a significant negative impact on services, however heavy industrial development would create cause for further study.” He wondered when this “further study” would be done.

Dulworth said a study wouldn’t be done until the city knows how the land will be developed.

“To do a study right now … would be premature,” Hollinger added.

Fire officials are concerned about fire protection in general as the city grows, Hollinger said, but “it’s not necessarily a water-volume issue.”

By Michael Seffrin

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823.

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823.