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Letter to the editor

Bad analogy Editor, The Sun: The argument around how to grow in Woodford County is as old as the dirt the corn grows in. There is middle ground and it's up to us as a community to come together and work things out in a positive, respectful way. EDA Chair John Soper's letter in the Sept. 15 issue is disturbing because its goal seems to be to fan the flames of divisiveness, which will only serve to undermine our lovely community. The historical comparison isn't accurate. It's convenient that Versailles, France, shares its name with a city in Kentucky, and it's true that local horse farm owners own large tracts of land as did the "feudal lords" of the French Revolution. But that's where the similarity ends and to suggest otherwise shows that the temptation to use a false analogy was just too great due to Versailles's "French Connection." If Mr. Soper's so-called "Thoroughbred Millionaires" had the power of feudal lords, they could have said no to the Edgewood expansion when it first came up and that would have been that. However, the parties who brought the Edgewood lawsuits live in a representative democracy where there are three branches of government. This means that they have to use the judicial system like anyone else who believes they've been aggrieved by the actions of another branch. If anything, Mr. Soper gets his analogy turned around. One could argue that the speed at which the 336-acre Edgewood Farm was annexed and rezoned (outside the 5-year Comprehensive Plan), especially in light of a high degree of public opposition, has the governmental bodies that voted for it looking more like kings, queens and the royal court than the horse farm owners and other citizens who challenged them. Mr. Soper's contention that not building a new hospital on the Edgewood property is tantamount to denying "the peasants better health care" doesn't hold up. There is land within the pre-Edgewood USB that is zoned for this purpose and has been for sale for years. Why isn't it being considered for the hospital's new location? It would provide a similar benefit to the community without the opposition. Mr. Soper conveniently reframes the local growth issue. There are many people in this town from all walks of life who oppose the Edgewood development but who believe their arguments fell on deaf ears. If a neutral observer had followed Versailles's land use issues for the past two years by attending the 2014 listening sessions at KCTCS where the 200-plus people present were asked to work on a vision for our town's future, by sitting in on public hearings and by reading news articles and letters to the editor - he/she couldn't help but conclude that unbridled growth is not what most people want. To suggest otherwise is just plain wrong. It is frustrating to attend a public hearing where 98 percent of the voices express major concerns, and a short time later, to have the project approved nearly unanimously. Attempting to drive a wedge between the large landowners and the "peasants and serfs" (which I guess are the rest of us) is sad and unfair, not only to the horse farms who have brought so much economic value and beauty to this county, but also to the people who call Versailles home and have a different opinion about how to grow than Mr. Soper. We can do better. Laura Dake Versailles

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