Planning commission turns down zoning request for bio-fuel plant in Sumner County

SUMNER COUNTY, Kan. The Sumner county Planning Commission Wednesday turned down a company's conditional use permit to build a bio-fuel plant in north Sumner County and a zoning-change request for the land where it planned construction.

Sumner Newscow reports the planning commission voted 7-1 to deny VNA Corporation a conditional-use permit for the project and voted 6-1 to deny the rezoning request to rezone about 100 acres west of the Ninnescah River from rural to heavy industrial.

The opposition does not put a fork in the company's plan for its plant.

The Sumner County Commission does have the power to overturn the planning commission's request at its Nov. 26 meeting.

At a meeting in late September, a crowd gathered into a room as the planning and zoning committee came together to discuss the fate of the controversial bio-fuel plant.

Among those unhappy with the proposed plant is Alyssa Lancaster who lives near the land. She says she wants to raise her children surrounded by peace and quiet and the bio-fuel plant threatens that..

"There's a lot of concerns: the traffic, the noise, the odor," Lancaster says.

She also expressed concerns concerning water usage and property values.

The company said the plant would create renewable energy. VNA says it won't need to use water from the river, but the company already drilled a test well and plans to use groundwater.

VNA also claimed there won't be a significant impact on air quality and noisy equipment would be contained to the inside of its buildings.