Letters to the editor
Supports plan Editor, The Sun: Woodford Forward strongly supports the zoning map amendment and preliminary development plan for Woodford Place at 2101 Lexington Road from A-1 (Agriculture) to R-‐1C/PUD (Low Density Single Family Residential/Planned Unit Development). The property is within the City of Versailles’s Urban Service Boundary and it was annexed by the City of Versailles in the fall of 2014. This property is designated for use as a Contemporary Neighborhood District in the 2011 Comprehensive Plan. There are 83 single-‐family homes, 28 townhouses, and 144 apartments proposed in this development. The multi-‐family buildings are oriented around large and small open spaces and a water feature. These buildings are connected to a pedestrian pathway system that reuses the existing farm roads. This mixed-‐use development allows citizens to live, work and play as a community. The neighborhood oriented commercial development complements the variety of residential development. There is a retail/civic building that is a focal point of the neighborhood. This is surrounded 29 percent green space that is provided throughout the development. This amount of green space is seven times the 4 percent amount that is required by planning and zoning. There are approximately 1.3 miles of pedestrian paths that are integrated into the development and they are connected to the Versailles-Woodford County pathway system. There is adequate water service available from a 12-inch water line provided by the City of Versailles. There are three street stubs to the adjoining proposed development to the west. Storm water detention basins are provided in three separate locations and they will retain more than two times the amount of storm water that is required by planning and zoning. This land was annexed by the City of Versailles in the fall of 2014. According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes 81A.410, any home rule city may extend its boundaries to include any area which: 1. Is adjacent or contiguous to the boundaries of the city at the time annexation proceedings are initiated; 2. Is suitable for development for urban purposes without unreasonable delay because of population density, commercial, industrial, or governmental use of land, or subdivision of land; 3. Does not include any territory that is already within the jurisdiction of another incorporated city, or another county; and 4. Is not part of an agricultural district formed pursuant to KRS 262.850(10). Clearly, this property met the criteria for annexation. The plan demonstrates an improvement to the overall quality of life, economic vitality, design and adequate infrastructure for citizens and businesses in our community. The zone map amendment and development plan illustrates the highest and best use of the urban land within the City of Versailles’s Urban Service Boundary. This land was annexed by the City of Versailles and now the Zoning Map Amendment and Preliminary Development Plan for Woodford Place at 2101 Lexington Road from A-‐1 (Agriculture) to R-‐1C/PUD (Low Density Single Family Residential/Planned Unit Development) should be approved, to allow the City of Versailles to grow up, not out. Billy Van Pelt, CEO Woodford Forward Which is it? Editor, The Sun: A week ago, Versailles mayor Brian Traugott contacted our group – Citizens for Sustainable Community Growth – via social media and asked us to help oppose the proposed Woodford Place development, the smaller of two parcels on the former Backer Farm located on the south side of Lexington Road next to Gleneagles, where a decision for or against was recently tabled by P&Z for a period of up to 90 days. The mayor and others in city government were responsible for the annexation of this same property in the fall of 2014 (against the recommendation of many concerned citizens), but he is now enlisting the help of this group, that, according to some, opposes everything? After publicly denying that development of this property would have adverse consequences on Versailles when they were pushing annexation, it’s now the opposite? On the other hand, on the other side of the road, Mayor Traugott is pushing to bring another 336 acres – the Edgewood Farm property – into the Urban Services Boundary (USB) so it can be developed! In his message to us against the Woodford Place/Backer development were concerns related to: 1, higher taxes for city residents; 2, “extend(ing) the urban core far out U.S. 60”; 3, traffic issues related to two new stoplights in a ¼ mile span; and 4, problems with flooding because of drainage into Big Sink. Substitute Edgewood for Woodford Place and you’ve got the same argument against both developments! CSCG has not taken a position on the Woodford Place plan, but does have concerns due to its high density; it isn’t clear how attractive it will be stuffed to its 63-acre gills with 255 housing units (single-family and apartments), stores, offices, and a community center. That said, it is only 63 acres, which will have far less impact on Versailles and Woodford County than the Edgewood behemoth. The Backer parcels are also already in the USB (thanks in part to the mayor). So we ask: what is going on? Is the mayor really concerned about the Woodford Place/Backer development or does he simply want to get the Edgewood Farm annexation (outside the 5-year Comprehensive Plan) through P&Z first? Is Edgewood the feather in his cap due to its size and development potential? In expressing concern about Woodford Place, the official stated exactly some of the reasons many of us are deeply concerned about the annexation and subsequent development of the Edgewood property: higher taxes, an extended urban core, traffic issues and problems with flooding writ large. Speculative development should not be used as a valid reason to get land annexed outside the Comprehensive Plan’s timeline. City officials: We have a Comprehensive Plan for a reason. Please play by the rules and stop trying to change them in the middle of the game. Don Lewis Citizens for Sustainable Community Growth board member Editor’s note: This letter was also signed by four other Citizens for Sustainable Community Growth board members.