OWEGO — The Tioga County Planning Board recently gave the green light for the rezoning of three adjacent parcels in the Town of Nichols to accommodate future industrial or residential development.

The three parcels, formerly zoned as 88 acres of agricultural land, expanded an existing industrial-zoned area adjacent to the BestBuy and Crown Cork and Seal properties.

County documents note that the land is not within the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Special Flood Hazard Area.

One of the parcel owners, Engelbert Farms, has said the area is among the least productive farmlands in the area due to rocky soil.

At a recent town board meeting, Nichols Supervisor Kevin Engelbert said the parcels were jokingly referred to as “the quarry,” and that the land was not usable for farming.

The rezoning is consistent with a short-term goal listed in the Economic Development and Planning section of Tioga County’s 2020 Strategic Plan that states to identify a site to develop into a future industrial or office park, planning board documents said.

Regarding potential residential development, planning board documents qualify that the zoning change would permit one- or two-family dwelling units, but would not include mobile home parks, townhouse complexes, cluster housing or apartment buildings.

EDP Director LeeAnn Tinney recently noted that no known development plans were on the table.

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