The Wellsville Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend to the city council that it rezone a 29.4-acre tract at 4730 Fiber Lane in Wellsville from agriculture to C-2 commercial use. Holton, and members of his family and business, are the applicants for the rezoning and were present at the meeting. Holton said he hopes to move his business, Holton Ranch Supply, from Edgerton to Wellsville sometime in 2014.
“We’ve lived there in [Wellsville] and know a lot of people within town, and they’re great customers of ours,” Holton, president of Holton Ranch Supply, said. “We just wanted to move a little closer to them. We just figured it would be easier to grow our business.”
Holton Ranch Supply currently is located at 36450 Frontage Road, Edgerton, just north of I-35 near the Edgerton exit. The land recommended for rezoning is located on the east side of K-33 and south of Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad line. Holton said he is buying the land from its owner, Thomas Van Keirsbilck, and the purchase is contingent on the rezoning. The cropland currently does not have structures on it and is not being used for anything, Holton said.
“There is approximately 30 acres there, and at this time we don’t need 30 acres, but we wanted room for growth ...,” he said. “I purchased this store from my father.”
Originally a horse trailer business until 2 1/2 years ago, the store now sells a variety of western supplies, Holton said. Though the business is expected to move if the rezoning and sale goes through, Holton said, he plans to use the same setup for his new location.
“We are going to keep the same business model, but just expand it even larger,” he said. “We are out of room with all the western wear. It isn’t just one specific category that we have. It is kind of a lifestyle we all have. It is everything western, and this store will grow with that. We will have more feed, more tack for people, a lot of western wear, farm supplies, ranch supples. ... It is going to be pretty diverse.”
The plan to move the business closer to home has been an ongoing thought for a while, Holton said.
As a family-owned business, it is common to see Holton’s three sons helping with everyday tasks at the store, he said. Holton has twin 11-year-olds, Logan and Lane, and Hayden, 6. Holton said they have made good relationships with customers.
“They are here nearly every single day,” he said. “My littlest knows almost all of our customers. He goes and grabs the feed cart because he already knows what they are getting.”
While the family’s hope of moving the business to Wellsville looked brighter after the planning commission’s recommendation, the rezoning still must be passed by the Wellsville City Council during its 6 p.m. Dec. 11 meeting at City Hall, 411 Main St., Wellsville.
Mike Brungardt, Wellsville city engineer, said the land previously was designated for A-2 agricultural use by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, but was annexed by the City of Wellsville in 2009.
“When the city annexed it, they didn’t rezone it,” Brungardt said during Wednesday’s meeting.
A-2 agricultural zoning is for land used for agricultural purposes with single-family detached structures, and C-2 commercial zoning is for land used for community or public facilities, retail stores and other businesses, Brungardt said.
Apart from discussing the criteria for the rezoning, Brungardt also said such utility services as water and sewer are not available on the property but could be installed. Brungardt said the rezoning should not cause a decrease in the property values of nearby homes, and the addition of the business to the city could increase the tax base and potentially create jobs.
As far as Holton’s business location in Edgerton, he and his family have not formalized any plans, he said.
“There will not be two Holton Ranch Supply stores,” Holton said. “We may do something with it. We are not really sure yet.”