The Lincoln County Commissioners finally agreed Monday to reduce the likelihood that an industrial area will be developed north of North Platte. Bernice Zeigler and Stewart Allen, who have land near the area, are pleased that the county board listened.
Ziegler has attended meetings for years, ever since a construction company started stockpiling supplies near her house in the hills west of North Platte. She lives near the KNOP-TV station.
Allen has also been to several meetings since September to express his concerns. He owns 80 acres north of the city where he runs some cattle.
The proposed industrial area would have been on the east side of U.S. Highway 83, between Hall School Road and Surburban Road, encompassing about two square miles.
Ziegler and Allen objected to the industrial designation in September, but in November the county planning commission included it anyway in a long-range planning map.
At the zoning meeting where they made it official, Ziegler, 85, waited all evening for the chance to speak. She got her turn after three-and-a-half-hours.
Both she and Allen were also present a month later, when the plan came before the county commissioners. Their protests were so persuasive that the commissioners asked the planning commission to explain themselves.
Subsequently, the planning commission met two weeks ago to talk with Ziegler, Allen and other residents. They finally agreed to drop the industrial area designation from their long-range plans and continue to call it a “transitional agriculture” area.
As Zoning Administrator Judy Clark put it to the county commissioners Tuesday, “If you want to put it back to transitional ag, it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.”
The commissioners made it official, 3-0.
Commissioner Joe Hewgley thanked the planning commission for their hard work.
"It's a thankless job, period," Hewgley said. "I appreciate the study that goes into each item that comes before them."
"The greatest thing about local government is that we listen to the public," Hewgley said. "It doesn't mean we always agree with them... but we listen."