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Warren County weighs distribution center ban

The Warren County Board of Commissioners again delayed a decision on whether to prohibit distribution centers and warehouse depots near the Interstate 71 interchange outside Lebanon.

The Turtlecreek Twp. trustees asked the commissioners to prohibit these commercial uses on more than 300 acres in an economic development district established around the interchange at Ohio 123 where a Flying J Truck Stop is operating, despite opposition from neighbors.

The changes are part of zoning amendments, also setting new guidelines for agritourism, proposed by county staff.

This morning, the board postponed a decision on the proposed changes to the county zoning code after comments by developers who control most of the undeveloped land in the district.

Developer Ken Natorp and Henkle-Schueler representatives opposed the prohibition of distribution centers like those being built around the region to serve online retailers such as Amazon.

“If you’ve got Amazon knocking at your door, I don’t think you slam it in their face,” said Joe Kramer, an executive vice president at the Schueler Group.

Several distribution centers have been built in the region, but there was no indication that one was in the works at the Ohio 123 interchange.

Turtlecreek Twp. Trustee Jon Sams said the trustees remained in support of the changes in hopes of bringing manufacturing or office developments to the area.

These developments create fewer problems with traffic and better jobs, resulting in more income tax to support construction of roads and other infrastructure, and other services, Sams said.

“We have to represent our township, what’s best for our township,” he said.

The commissioners are expected to make a decision next week, in a third session on the proposed changes, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., on Dec. 5.

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