• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff Report

Residential, distribution center plans move forward

The Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a preliminary development plan for a residential subdivision at 2001 Lexington Road (known as Backer I). The development plan was revised to include the required 4 percent open space within the residential neighborhood, which has 495 lots. However, only 10 residential lots have been approved for sewer taps by the City of Versailles. If additional sewer taps are not approved beforehand, the Planning Commission will have the option of only approving 10 lots for development during its review of a preliminary subdivision plat. Midway attorney Hank Graddy asked the commission for permission to speak prior to its approval of the preliminary plat, but he was reminded that this was not advertised as a public hearing and therefore he was not permitted to provide input prior to the Planning Commission's action to approve the plan. Chad Wells, who was elected as the commission's new chair at the start of Thursday's meeting, said he did not want to set a precedent by allowing Graddy to speak. "If we're going to allow public comment," said P&Z attorney Tim Butler, "we have to advertise it as a public hearing. Otherwise that's a violation, I believe, of open meetings law." Also during its regular meeting on Jan. 12, P&Z approved a Comprehensive Plan amendment and recommended a zone change that will allow Lakeshore Learning Materials to move forward with a plan to expand its distribution center at Midway Station, located north of Midway's I-64 interchange. The Midway City Council asked the Planning Commission to consider this amendment to the 2011 Comp Plan, which will expand the city's urban service boundary to include a 34.184-acre parcel of land along Georgetown Road (Ky. 341), which is adjacent to 41 acres being purchased by Lakeshore for its distribution center. The Midway council adopted an ordinance in November 2016 declaring the city's intent to annex the 34.184 acres, currently owned by the Homer Michael Feeny Jr. Trust. Of that property, Lakeshore Learning Materials has immediate plans use 18 acres in order to expand its distribution center to 748,786 square feet. The remaining 15.485-acre tract will be available for future development by Lakeshore or another industrial user. The recommendation to rezone all 34.184 acres from A-1 (agricultural) to I-1 (light industrial) was forwarded to Midway City Council for approval, pending its annexation of the property. "Lakeshore Learning is a company we've been looking for, for 20 years to take Midway Station to its potential," said John Soper, chair of the Woodford County Economic Development Authority. "This is a key final element to get a great family-owned company." Lakeshore will employ 262 workers, with a seasonal peak of 400 jobs in the summer - offering employment opportunities for Woodford County High School students, said Soper. Also, he said, the remaining 15.485-acre tract of I-1 land may attract "a tier-one supplier. It might be a woodworking company that makes . some of the desks" supplied by Lakeshore Learning Materials to its customers. No one from the public spoke during the hearing on the zone change and Comp Plan amendment requests. Holiday Inn Express P&Z approved an amended development plan to allow a slight increase in the size of a Holiday Inn Express planned for a site near the U.S. 60 Bypass and McDonald's restaurant. Construction on the proposed 82-room, four-story Holiday Inn Express (H&W Management Company) is expected to begin in early March. Auto parts store P&Z unanimously approved a final development plan for a 7,225 square-foot O'Reilly Auto Parts store at 235 Equestrian Park, a commercial property located across Lexington Road from Daisy Hill Senior Living. The plan includes 33 parking spaces on the 1.36-acre site, which was formerly occupied by athletic fields owned by the public school system. Other approval The commission also approved a final record plat creating lots at 115 and 121 Bellview Avenue (Branch Creek, LLC: Allison Breitenstein). The plat includes sidewalk, sewer and waterline construction, and an agreement with the City of Versailles to use land located at the rear of the property for storm water improvements in that area of Versailles. Officers, committees Planning commissioners voted unanimously to elect Wells as chair of the commission. Wells succeeds longtime chair J.D. Wolf. He made the motion to elect his successor, Patty Perry, as vice chair and Ed McClees as secretary in a vote at the start of last Thursday's meeting. "I've been on here for 17 years and it's time for me to say goodbye," said Wolf. "As of this meeting, I won't be on the zoning board no more." His resignation announcement was received with applause from those attending last week's meeting. The Planning Commission also unanimously elected committee members for the 2017 calendar year. Perry will serve as chair of the Comprehensive Plan committee, with Jeri Hartley, Tim Parrott and Rich Schein. Randal Bohannon will service as chair of the personnel and budget committee, with Perry, McClees and Schein. McClees will serve as chair of the legal committee, with Jim Boggs, Tim Parrott and Wolf. Hartley will chair the subdivision regulations committee, with Boggs, Bohannon and Wolf. A City of Versailles appointee will serve on the committees that Wolf would have served on. Committee meetings The Comp Plan committee scheduled a meeting on Monday, Jan. 23 at 4:30 p.m., to continue its work on an update to the Comprehensive Plan. The budget and personnel committee scheduled a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 4:30 p.m.

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