• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

New and revised objectives for Comp Plan get thumbs up

An objective to "promote and encourage the extension" of Falling Springs Boulevard to Frankfort Road "at or near" the intersection of Midway Road and other proposed changes in the goals and objectives chapter of the Comprehensive Plan were sent to the governing bodies last Thursday, Sept. 8. The Planning Commission recommended the changes by a 5 to 3 vote, with City of Midway appointee Rich Schein joining commissioners Jim Boggs and Patty Perry in opposing the motion to include the bypass extension as an objective in an updated land-use plan. "It doesn't belong in the goals and objectives," said Schein prior to the vote. "Projects do not belong in the goals and objectives. Goals and objectives are exactly what they sound like - they are goals for the future." He described including language that promotes a bypass extension as "the solution" to alleviate traffic congestion in downtown Versailles as being "too specific." He said specific projects like an extension of the bypass are not appropriate objectives in the land-use plan. And Perry agreed. She pointed out that an extension of the bypass is already discussed in a later chapter of the current Comprehensive Plan, which she termed appropriate. With no funding for the bypass extension in the state's six-year road plan, "to promote it puts us in a dumb position," Boggs said. Furthermore, Schein said support for a bypass extension was only expressed by two citizens during the hearings or in a survey of public opinion conducted by the Comp Plan committee. "And repeatedly," he added, "the chairman of this commission (J.D. Wolf) spoke out for the bypass." He said most people who spoke or responded to the survey supported the existing goals and objectives of the land-use plan. Other proposed changes to the land-use plan's objectives were discussed to a lesser extent, with revised language to "allow for the justified expansions" of the county's urban services area garnering no comment from commission members after committee chair Chad Wells reviewed the recommended changes with them. Citizens groups and others who spoke in July at a public hearing on the goals and objectives chapter of the Comp Plan did voice their opposition to revising the language of that objective. Woodford County resident Deb Pekny argued that the word "justified" was "subject to very liberal interpretation." "Who," she asked, "decides what is justified?" And during a recent interview, Karen Isberg, a spokesperson for Citizens for Sustainable Community Growth, said "This (proposed language) allows for expansions - in our view - of unlimited size and scope. "So a lot of people in our group and other people that we've spoken to are asking, 'Why delineate an urban service boundary in a five-year plan if the language in the plan will allow the boundary to be completely undermined.'" Before ending its discussion on the goals and objectives last Thursday, the commission agreed to revise the language of an agricultural-use objective because of concerns raised by Boggs about "loose language" that may lead "to something we will regret later on." So instead of language that promotes "the development of an agricultural industrial complex," the commission supported an objective that supports "value-added agricultural economic development" to create and sustain farm revenue in Woodford County. The proposed agricultural-use objective supports efforts like the development of a grain milling facility as a local supplier for More Than A Bakery, a new industry coming to Versailles. The goals and objectives for an updated Comprehensive Plan - as recommended by the Planning Commission - now go to the city councils of Midway and Versailles, and Woodford Fiscal Court. "The legislative bodies could actually have different versions (of goals and objectives)," said Tim Butler, attorney for the Planning Commission. "Some of the legislative bodies could adopt (the goals and objectives) as they are . (or) not accept changes. So you don't have to have the same version (of goals and objectives) throughout the county." Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift has been outspoken in his opposition to the proposed objective to "promote and encourage the extension" of Falling Springs Boulevard to Frankfort Road "at or near" the intersection of Midway Road. During a public hearing in July, Vandegrift said, "While I've . always firmly supported Versailles's right to alleviate their traffic concerns . I don't support doing so without trying other sound suggestions, which to date have been ignored, and which might avoid dumping the problem onto their next door neighbor (Midway)." After the Comp Plan committee's recent action to forward the bypass extension objective to the full commission and an earlier decision to remove Schein as a committee member, Vandegrift said during an interview, "I think our council has to decide whether they're going to adopt (the goals and objectives of) this Comprehensive Plan or not." Commissioner Tim Parrott was not present for the meeting last Thursday when the full commission took action to recommend goals and objectives to the governing bodies. Office buildings The commission unanimously approved a development plan for two office buildings at 115 and 121 Bell Avenue. The lots, which are zoned for business uses, are located near the Taco Bell restaurant on property formerly occupied by Olson Oil. Precision Ag Services, Inc., currently located at 205 Frankfort Street, will move its business offices to this location at the corner of Bell Avenue and Crossfield Drive. Townhouse plan The commission unanimously approved a preliminary subdivision plat and development plan for 22 townhouse units at 131 Macey Boulevard. Two neighboring property owners voiced concern about ongoing drainage issues, but were assured that the county engineer and Versailles public works department will review construction plans to ensure water runoff being directed to a catch basin and handled by a detention area will not exacerbate the area's drainage issues. Described as an infill project by project engineer Tim Thompson, the Woodford Station Townhouses (Walter E. Schott III) are being built on 2.018 acres of vacant land in the R-3 (multi-family) residential district. Edmonds Cross An amended development and preliminary plan reducing the number of single-family homes in a unit of the Edmonds Cross subdivision - from 74 to 64 lots - was approved by the Planning Commission. Under an agreement reached prior to a lawsuit being dismissed, the lots and homes in the Huntertown Road development will be larger than what was proposed in the previous plan.

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