by Kelly Johnson
The Nowthen Historical Power Association has received approval for a revised conditional use permit (CUP).
Nowthen City Council members unanimously approved the CUP request Feb. 14.
A revised CUP is needed because the NHPA has acquired additional land for the Nowthen Threshing Show grounds.
The NHPA has acquired eight acres of property formerly owned by Reinhard “Mike” Jenne, who died in March 2010. Jenne sold the NHPA 54 acres of the land for the Nowthen Threshing Show’s current site.
As part of the CUP approval, the NHPA can continue to hold the four events approved in the existing CUP, the Nowthen Threshing Show, spring and fall tractor pulls and the three-day We-Soberfest.
The NHPA had originally requested 10 events on the property as part of the CUP application.
Additional events planned include a historic re-enactment planned Sept. 21 through 23 and a bluegrass concert.
According to Jody Hicks of the NHPA, the group decided to apply for a total of 10 events in the CUP to avoid having to come before the council annually to add additional events. Only two other events, the re-enactment and concert, are planned for this year.
She told the planning commission during a public hearing that the events the NHPA plans to bring in are ones that follow the group’s mission.
Hicks said the group is getting more event requests to be held on the threshing show grounds.
Some of these requests, according to Hicks, include a classic car or truck show and a kennel club event.
During the public hearing held before the planning and zoning commission, residents expressed concern about the noise generated by possible events, especially a monster truck type event.
Hicks said events such as these are not on the radar for the NHPA.
Another concern of residents during the public hearing was traffic generated by future events.
Planning commissioners and residents wanted some input into what events would be allowed to be held on the threshing show grounds.
To give city leaders more input on the types of events held on the property, both the planning commission and council approved the CUP request allowing the four events currently held at the threshing show grounds.
The NHPA has submitted an interim use permit (IUP) to hold six additional events.
A CUP runs with the land, which means if an CUP was approved for 10 events, that is the number of events allowed on the property. If the property is sold and the new owner decides to hold different events, it is still within the approval of the CUP.
By comparison, an IUP runs with the applicant, in this case the NHPA. If the property is sold, a new IUP would need to be approved by the city.
Similarly, if additional events other than those approved in the IUP are sought, a new application must come before the city.
The planning and zoning commission will discuss the issue at its March 27 meeting and city council will consider the request April 10.
Until that time, councilmembers Feb. 14 unanimously agreed to allow the NHPA to move ahead with plans for the additional two events prior to IUP approval.
Kelly Johnson is at [email protected]