Allen County commissioners gave the go-ahead Friday to rezoning a piece of agricultural property near Grabill for a new industrial warehouse, despite several neighbors’ objections.
Ben and Lydiann Lengacher want to build a 50,000-square-foot warehouse at 13001 Roth Road to support an existing business they own, Wood Technology LLC, 13804 Antwerp Road.
Ten neighbors on nearby Roth and Grabill roads had signed a petition objecting to the rezoning, citing traffic and drainage and stating it would intrude on the agricultural and residential neighborhood.
The Grabill Town Council submitted a letter of support for the project, saying the Lengachers are already using the property for the business and are simply asking for the rezoning to accommodate a new warehouse.
Neighbors said there is already a problem with surface-water drainage and the new warehouse will add to drainage concerns.
“The Witmer Ditch is oftentimes over its bank during heavy rains, causing flooding of our buildings and serious erosion issues and (the warehouse) will make the issue even worse,” the petition said.
Drainage concerns have been addressed and there would not be increased traffic since the 10 to 12 trucks that would commute daily to the warehouse are already delivering to the nearby Lengacher business anyway, said Michelle Wood, senior planner for the Department of Planning Services.
“This property is on the edge of Grabill, adjacent to the town limits, and right on the edge of an existing industrial area,” Wood said, adding that the plan commission had issued a favorable recommendation for the rezoning.
While the area is rural in general, the town of Grabill has targeted the area for future industrial growth, Wood said.
The storage outside the warehouse will be screened and county landscaping policies will apply, she said.