The Franklin County Board of Zoning Appeals reviewed a request by surveyor Andy Murray to build a structure for commercial use on S.R. 101 at its April 14 meeting.

The proposed structure will be located behind Thompson Machining Service and will house the expanded operations of Smith Welding, currently located on Oxford Pike in Whitcomb. Murray explained traffic will enter the site on the south end of the Thompson property and extend along the southwest side to the vacant area west of the Thompson building.

BZA member Terry Duffy noted the application describes the building as a welding shop, which is a conditional use. Duffy suggested ensuring the site meets the requirements of the conditional use before proceeding, specifically the needs of landscape screening.

David Smith, owner of Smith Welding, explained to the north of the building is a 15-foot-high berm planted with pine trees between the proposed site and a campground; the doors to Smith's building will be on the south side of the building.

BZA member David Mannix verified the property is zoned as Planned Business (PB) and enclosed industrial uses are not permitted in the PB zone. Duffy noted the county's zoning code lists welding shop as a permitted conditional use in PB.

The board discussed procedural questions about the matter, determining the board must approve the development plan for a structure for commercial use, although the use as a welding shop is considered a class two conditional use and is subject to approval by the area planning executive director.

BZA member Robert Braun made a motion to approve the development plan as presented, Mannix seconded the motion and the board voted to approve with Duffy abstaining and Ed Derickson entering a “no.”