FT residents fight rezoning case

Several Franklin Township residents united to protest a zoning application submitted by a residential business owner operating an auto repair shop illegally from his home.

Gary Gordon of Brown Road applied to rezone his residence from a rural district to a business district after the Franklin County Board of Health and other county inspections flagged the site for investigation by the Franklin County Zoning Department, said Chief Richard Howard of the Franklin Township Fire Department.

"They’ve run under the radar and basically got caught. Now they want to legitimize it," said Howard at the May 15 township trustee meeting.

Residents in attendance last week spoke against rezoning the Brown Road home.

James Dardy, a Franklin Township resident, noticed the owner’s continuous additions to his property to support the business.

"We think it’s going to ruin our property," said Dardy.

Others feel the same.

"When I sit on my back deck, I smell paint fumes," said resident Kenny Davis.

"I’d kind of like to sit out there every once and a while."

Township trustees Don Cook and Cheryl Schrack agree that a business in a residential area is inappropriate and promised to send a letter to the zoning department within a few days of the meeting.

Trustee Tim Guyton was not in attendance at the meeting.

The Franklin Township Fire Department cited a violation against Gordon’s business, Outback Body Shop and Auto Repair, as no inspections have been executed despite commercial activity.

Without an invitation, the fire department cannot inspect a rural district, though Howard said he suspects fire code violations.

In other news, Lt. Mark Kidd and firefighter Chris Grile received promotions last week.

Kidd was promoted to the rank of captain and Grile to lieutenant.

The positions opened with Captain Tom Newton’s announcement of retirement from the department after 29 years of service.

Kidd and Grile were top on the respective lists for promotion, according to Howard.

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