Home News Local News COUNTY DELAYS ZONE CHANGE TO ACCOMODATE LIVING QUARTERS AT AIRPORT
COUNTY DELAYS ZONE CHANGE TO ACCOMODATE LIVING QUARTERS AT AIRPORT
Citing a potential conflict between residential and industrial uses, the Union County commissioners this week delayed approval of a zone change to allow living quarters for security guards at the Airport Industrial Park.
"This opens the door for as many as seven residences," said Commissioner Colleen MacLeod.
Under the proposal approved by the county planning commission, the industrial zone would be modified to allow the seven industries there to place either travel trailers adjacent to their businesses or apartments inside existing buildings.
The effort has been led by Ron Nash of Northwood Homes and Roy Hanan of Eagle Cap Aviation. Nash and Hanan have said they are concerned about losses from theft.
But MacLeod questioned the need for sleeping quarters.
"Aren't they supposed to be awake and watching?" she asked. "The job should be watching not sleeping."
The commissioners pointed out that Boise Corporation, another large industry, has 24-hour security without providing housing for their guards.
"We tried to hire security patrols, but that hasn't been successful," Hanan said. "If somebody is there, all the businesses can use them."
Hanan said the FBI has contacted him three times since the 9-11 terrorist attacks about airport and chemical security. His company sprays agriculture chemicals from the air.
All the commissioners agreed that security is an issue, but they expressed concern about protecting the industrial zone against residential encroachment.
Commissioner Steve McClure called the conditions imposed by the planning commission "subjective."
"Relative to the size of the business, does that mean a small business can have a small trailer and a big business a big trailer?" he said.
The commissioners asked county planner Hanley Jenkins to provide specific conditions for locating residential quarters.
The commissioners will discuss the issue at their Dec. 18 meeting.
"It has been a problem," McClure said about theft and trespassing at the industrial park.
"Having a presence is a deterrent, but we don't want to have apartments in a light industrial building."
Alice Perry Linker