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County approves permit for tents, tables and chairs rental

Nov 27, 2023

SPEAKING AT the podium, Brice Arens answers questions from the Madison County Board of Commissioners about a conditional-use permit to enable him to locate a tent, table and chair rental business on some rural property south of Norfolk unsuitable for farming.

It appears a Norfolk man who is seeking to relocate an established business to south of town cleared his last regulatory hurdle on Tuesday.

Brice Arens, doing business as First Party Rental, had his request for a conditional use permit approved 3-0 by the Madison County Board of Commissioners following a public hearing.

Arens told the county board he plans to construct a building and locate First Party Rental south of Norfolk on agriculturally zoned land that he owns.

Arens distributed a map showing the property and his plans for it. It includes an existing road, with a proposed 60-foot-by-60-foot concrete pad and a 24-foot-by-40-foot office and storage building.

Arens said May would basically be the busy time for him for about three weeks, with graduations. The other 49 weeks out of the year might have only a few people a week picking up and dropping off items, he said.

The business was established in 2013 in Norfolk behind Michael's Cantina, with the storage of equipment at ABC Storage. Arens said he intends to put everything in one location for customer convenience.

Heather McWhorter, zoning administrator, said Arens would have a parking lot and use the new building he's constructing for storage of the items.

"There's no events there," she said. "This is only for the rental (of tents, tables and chairs)."

There already is a small cabin located on the property from the previous owner, but that's all that is at the site, McWhorter said.

The property is south of Norfolk, just west of Highway 81. There is no residence on the property, which is about 22 acres of pastureland. It is described as in Section 20, Township 23, Range 1.

While one person spoke against the request at the joint planning commission hearing and another person had questions, nobody spoke against it before the county board.

The concern previously stated was that allowing a commercial business in an agricultural area could prevent neighbors from expanding farming operations at some point.

The Madison County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday.

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It appears a Norfolk man who is seeking to relocate an established business to south of town cleared his last regulatory hurdle on Tuesday.

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