The New Albany Co. has requested a change in zoning from agricultural to limited general employment on 135.5 acres south of state Route 161 and east of Beech Road.

The New Albany Co. has requested a change in zoning from agricultural to limited general employment on 135.5 acres south of state Route 161 and east of Beech Road.

"It's difficult to market property that is zoned agricultural," said Jack Reynolds, an attorney who represents the New Albany Co. "Once land is annexed, they try to rezone it and get it into a category which they can market to people in the area."

Land annexed into New Albany is zoned agricultural, Reynolds said. The city annexed the land, which is in Licking County, from Jersey Township in 2011.

Reynolds said the New Albany Co. owns or is in contract to buy all parcels in the 135.5-acre tract, which is part of the city's business parks, said city spokesman Scott McAfee.

New Albany City Council on Aug. 21 heard first reading of the zoning-change ordinance. City Council referred the legislation to the planning commission for a recommendation. It is expected to come back to council for a vote at the Oct. 2 meeting.

Kathryn Meyer, deputy community development director, said the New Albany Co.'s 101.78 acres to the north already are zoned as limited general employment.

"It was a natural extension to bring the zoning classification south," Reynolds said.

The zoning classification allows "office, research, production and warehousing uses," according to city staff reports. It does not allow heavy industrial uses, standalone retail or small warehouses.

The Personal Care and Beauty Campus, in the business park north of Route 161, also is zoned as limited general employment.