BEATRICE – A civil trial has been scheduled for late March on an appeal of Gage County’s denial of a permit for an anhydrous ammonia operation. The trial is scheduled to take place one year to the day, since the permit was rejected.
A short hearing was held before District Judge Julie Smith Monday, on the lawsuit filed by Holtmeier Brothers, Inc. against Gage County.
The company’s application for a special use permit for an anhydrous operation about five miles west of Beatrice was recommended for approval by the Gage County Planning Commission, but then rejected by the county board, on a 3-4 vote.
Holtmeier Brothers had sought to develop the operation on land it owns at 27683 Southwest 117th Road. A grain bin facility is already located at the site, and the expansion proposed two 30,000-gallon anhydrous storage tanks and more than 20 nurse tanks, for the purpose of selling and distributing anhydrous ammonia. The land is currently zoned Agriculture-one.
The county board cited that the operation would be dangerously close to residential homes, could cause harm or damage, and is not an appropriate location for the facility. The board indicated the area more closely resembles an Agriculture-four zone.
The county planning commission unanimously recommended approval of the special use permit, on January 12th of 2017. The county board’s denial of the permit, came March 29th of last year.
Nine property owners who own acreages in the area, have intervened in the case.
Attorneys for Holtmeier, the county and the acreage owners appeared in Gage County District Court, Monday.