City Council Votes for Off Road Ranch Zoing Change on 1st Reading

NORFOLK - Norfolk City Council members passed a zoning change designation for the Off Road Ranch southeast of town on first reading last (Monday) night after nearly an hour of discussion and testimony from owners, neighbors and Stanton County officials.  The ordinance which would change a portion of the Off Road Ranch’s property from Agricultural to Industrial would pave the way for a baseball hitting complex as well as a bar and grill-type business, as it would allow the organization to apply for a liquor license.  Currently, Off Road Ranch officials apply and almost always receive permission to sell alcoholic beverages during three to four events each year by applying for conditional use permits.  The Ranch is located next to the Madison-Stanton County line and currently runs an RV park and motorcycle racetrack.  Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger expressed concern for potential alcohol-related problems.  The council voted 5-2 for the zoning change with council members Rob Merrill and Jim Lange voting against and Councilman Thad Muren was absent.  The ordinance would need to pass two more readings before it can go into effect.