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Nov 28, 2013 12:38 AM

Zoning Battle Continues in Ingleside

INGLESIDE - In tiny Ingleside, 700 acres is a lot of land and people there are at odds on how best to use it and who should decide.

City leaders are rezoning this land so that petrochemical giant Flint Hills can develop it for their own use.

It's an opportunity, they say, to tap into the booming oil and gas play flowing from the nearby Eagle Ford Shale.

But some residents are leery of having one of the world's largest petrochemical companies as a neighbor.

Ingleside Concerned Citizens Action Committee chairwoman Vicki Preston said the problem is the company isn't really saying what it plans to do with the property.

"If it's tanks, let us know. If it's an L&G plant, let us know. Let us know what your plan is because we were here, first."

The action committee on Monday handed over a petition with about 200 signatures, asking the city to let the voters decide.

But Mayor Pete Perkins told KRIS 6 News the petition may not be valid.

"The citizens can use a referndum to do away with planning and zoning altogether, but they cannot use it to piecemeal -- do a piece here, a piece there -- on individual decisions."

Perkins said Flint Hills has agreed to leave almost half of the 600-acre tract undeveloped as a buffer zone, in deference to the community's wishes.

But Preston said they feel shut out of the process. They plan on hiring a lawyer to help them with their fight.

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