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Campgrounds located south of Columbus, Ohio, are soon closing, while the property owner works with a South Dakota-based engineer on formulating a plan that lays out procedures, rules and other details for the recreational area, according to The Columbus Tribune

Lance Lehr, owner of T-Bone Truck Stop and Bonfire LLC, earlier this week was scheduled to go before the planning commission to seek a special use permit that would allow him to operate campinggrounds in a commercially zoned area. Lehr, however, pulled the item from the planning commission agenda because of fear that the application would be denied.

Those utilizing the campgrounds located just west of the U.S. Highway 81/30 junction have until Wednesday, July 17, to clear their property.

“Or I will take down a loader and remove it for them,” Lehr said.

City staff made the recommendation to the planning commission that Lehr’s request for a special use permit be denied on the grounds that no set-in-stone plan regarding operation of the campgrounds was submitted, along with Lehr not cooperating with the city of Columbus regarding moving people off the land and clearing the space, according to City Administrator Tara Vasicek.

“For a number of years Lehr has allowed people to camp on that ground and he has never gone through with the process of creating a campground according to the rules …,” Vasicek said. “To run a campground in that zoning district you have to get a special use permit and Lehr never has applied – this is the first time that he has applied for a special use permit in all of the years that we have been asking him to do so.”

Lehr said that he purchased the property in 2016 and that people from Platte County, Omaha and Lincoln have been enjoying recreational fun at the Bonfire Campgrounds ever since.

“We have about 30 sites down there, but there is room for many, many more,” Lehr said. “A lot of people come from Omaha and Lincoln and bring their four-wheelers and campers.”

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