SolarBee, Inc. looks to expandSolarBee, Inc. is looking to expand. But first it needs the Stark County Zoning Board to rezone recently purchased land from agricultural to industrial.
SolarBee, Inc. is looking to expand. But first it needs the Stark County Zoning Board to rezone recently purchased land from agricultural to industrial.
A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. The Zoning Board will make a recommendation to the Stark County Commission, which will make the final decision.
SolarBee is a solar-powered circulation technology company located north of Dickinson.
The request to rezone is from Gladin LLC, which owns the land SolarBee is located on, said Joel Bleth, president of Solar Bee and one of the managing partners of Gladin.
“We have the need for large outdoor storage buildings because our inventory is outside now and it’s getting covered in snow all the time,” Bleth said.
Gladin recently sold about 18 acres on the north side of SolarBee which wasn’t useful to them because of the terrain and purchased about 27 acres south of the building for expansion, Bleth said.
“It fits us real well and companies with large equipment like we have usually need to have a fair amount of land to have inventory,” Bleth said. “We have 10 large trucks on the road all the time, so you need room to handle the inventory and work with the trucks.”
Buildings for their trucks may be added as well, he said.
“The needs that we anticipate that we have out here are for cold storage and a truck maintenance building and a truck loading building,” Bleth said. “That land would give us more options on how to do all that.”
Several Zoning Board members said though they don’t have all the information on the proposal, there doesn’t appear to be any issue with rezoning the land.
“I really wouldn’t have an opinion until I go to the meeting and hear both sides, in case there would be opposition,” said Board Member Larry Messer. “As far as I can see, I don’t have anything against it, but I don’t have anything for it, either.”
The Zoning Board has been tough on spot zoning, but rezoning the land in question doesn’t appear to be spot zoning.
“As of right now, if there’s industrial right next to it, I guess I wouldn’t have a problem with that,” board member Russ Hoff said. “Some of the others that have come to us, they were not in an industrial area and what concerns me is that gets to be real sporadic zoning.”
He added the object is to create organization with development in the county.
Board members will likely decide whether rezoning is proper at the meeting.
Bleth said the expansion is due to past and expected growth of SolarBee.
“It was growing fairly quickly through 2008,” he said.
Activity remained steady in 2009 and 2010, Bleth added.
“Now the industry seems to be growing again,” he said. “We are expecting some good growth again this year.”