Newark has started the process to rezone the Freedom Recycling property at 2097 Mount Vernon Road.

Newark has started the process to rezone the Freedom Recycling property at 2097 Mount Vernon Road.

"The balance of the property (34 acres plus) will be in a conservation district," said Kathleen Barch, Newark's public-service director.

The 44-acre property off state Route 13 has been a source of contention for residents who live near it, many who do not want the facility to operate as it has been.

The property was annexed from Newton Township into the city in June 2008.

Barch said the property thus far has retained the manufacturing zoning provided by Newton Township. Because Newark City Council is considering adopting a new zoning code, properties annexed into the city last year were prevented from requesting zoning changes until the new code could be approved. The city must apply for zoning and get a recommendation from the city's planning commission within one year of annexation. With that deadline approaching, Barch said, she started the process to rezone the property.

Council's economic-development committee is expected to hear the application during its meeting Monday, April 27. The committee will consider referring the application to the city's planning commission, as is the usual process.

Barch said the zoning application for the property includes three different zoning classifications: limited industrial, general business and conservation district. She said less than 10 acres would be requested for general business and limited industrial uses, with the other 34-plus acres being requested within a conservation district.

"In our plans for the city, anywhere we have a flood district, it has to be a conservation district," she said. "There is no choice there."

Barch said the majority of that property is in the flood plain, meaning the majority of the property must be zoned within a conservation district.

Council will not consider the zoning until the planning commission has held public hearings and has made a recommendation for council.

Council's service committee on Monday is expected to discuss the new zoning code, which was tabled for 30 days earlier this month.

Service committee chairman Don Ellington said council would discuss at least 10 items within the new code, including billboard regulations, an error on the new map that shows the wrong zoning for 40 homes in ward 3, a Remington Road zoning for condominiums, conditional uses allowed within the general-industrial and limited-industrial zonings and the definition of a junkyard.

Several of the items to be discussed were raised by residents who have attended hearings on the proposed zoning code.

Barch said she anticipates council could vote on the proposed zoning code during its next regular meeting May 4.

Committee meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday.