Douglas County Commission issues permit for truck storage at rural property

photo by: Dylan Lysen

Dallien Holtkamp speaks to the Douglas County Commission during its meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. The commissioners approved issuing a conditional use permit to Holtkamp's rural property for truck storage.

The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday added an extra condition before allowing a rural landowner to continue storing trucks on his property for his lawn care business.

Dallien Holtkamp will need to provide a portable restroom on the site for the employees of the business, the commissioners said.

“I do wonder for that employee who might have an urgent need,” said Commissioner Nancy Thellman. “It’s not too much to ask for a (portable restroom) on site.”

With that added condition, the commissioners unanimously approved issuing a conditional use permit for the truck storage to be operated at 1935 and 1937 East 950 Road, north of Lawrence.

Holtkamp told the commissioners that he leases the land to his lawn care and landscape business, Turformance Lawn Services LLC. The property is about 38.5 acres, mostly made up of grassland and woodland. About eight acres of the land, which houses several agricultural buildings, is used for storage.

Holtkamp applied for the permit after he was informed he was violating county zoning rules by storing the trucks on the property without permission from the county. His company currently stores landscape-related equipment and eight trucks of various sizes on the site.

Thellman brought up the restroom topic because she received a call from a resident who had pointed out that the site could be in violation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations for not having a restroom for the employees of the lawn care business to use.

Holtkamp said none of his employees are on the property for long stretches of time. But he said it would not be difficult to provide a portable restroom if it was needed for the permit.

The plans for the site generally received support from nearby land owners. Planner Mary Miller said she received one call from someone who opposed the permit, but the caller did not provide any specific reasons. No one appeared at the meeting to oppose the permit application.

Instead, two neighbors spoke in favor of Holtkamp’s plans and both complimented him on his stewardship of the land. Michael Ingalls, who lives with his family on the property north of Holtkamp’s land, said that the previous owner took poor care of the property and that Holtkamp’s use has been a much-needed upgrade.

“If anything, it’s had a positive impact on our area,” Ingalls said.

Miller said the permit allows the vehicle storage to increase to 15 trucks and five trailers. The permit, which expires after 10 years, includes various other conditions, such as prohibiting retail and wholesale business and only allowing maintenance work on the trucks that are stored there.

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