Mercer County Regional Planning Commission members Wednesday night made a recommendation to deny local developer Steve Klosterman’s request to rezone 10 acres of his land from agricultural to industrial.
Klosterman wants to build an anaerobic manure digester on his property near the intersection of U.S. 127 and state route 219.
Commission members were to make a recommendation based on whether Klosterman’s application complies with the county’s overall plan of development, planning commission non-voting member and attorney Steve Miekle said.
Miekle told the newspaper Klosterman’s land is in an area designated as development in the county’s plan and that it could be rezoned to residential, commercial or industrial.
During the meeting, discussion often strayed from the members’ objective to issues of the proposed manure digester, such as its operation and concerns about noise and odor. Miekle interjected a few times, pointing out that members did not meet to discuss the effective use of the property; they were simply to make a recommendation on a zoning change for the area.
"Is this the best site?" commission member Richard Murray asked.
"It’s one of the best sites," said Jason Ziss of Quasar Energy Group of Cleveland, with whom Klosterman plans on partnering to create the plant.
Ziss said the property would be a great fit and that several manure digesters would be needed in the Grand Lake watershed area to combat the phosphorous problem plaguing the lake.