• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Committee resumes work on updating land-use plan

A subcommittee of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning and Zoning Commission resumed its work to update the Comprehensive Plan on Monday afternoon. The work session focused on the need to update much of the statistical information contained in chapter II of the land-use plan, which includes data on housing, population and employment trends in Woodford County and adjacent counties. According to data collected in August 2016, the number of residential building permits issued in Woodford County has steadily climbed from 70 in 2009 to 92 in 2010 to 100 in 2015. However, those numbers are much lower than a fast-growing Scott County, which issued 477 residential building permits in 2015 alone. Planning Director Pattie Wilson told committee members that she can access and include updated building permit data for 2016 in the land-use plan. Woodford County’s population has also steadily grown: from 17,788 in 1980 to 25,793 in 2015, according to U. S. Census data and estimates in the land-use plan. Other surrounding counties had more significant growth, including Scott County where population has ballooned to 52,420 in 2015 – compared to 21,813 in 1980. With the pending arrivals of new industry, including More Than a Bakery and Lakeshore Learning Materials, Perry said a section on employment trends in Woodford County should include language about the coming changes. According to data collected August 2016, the number of Woodford County residents employed in manufacturing jobs steadily declined from 2,669 in 1990 to 1,641 in 2014, while rising in the service sector (from 2,886 in 1990 to 5,282 in 2014) and agriculture (from 1,141 in 1990 to 1,492 in 2014). Additionally, the number of Woodford County residents who worked outside the county (6,814) was greater than those working in the county (5,523). The four-member Comp Plan committee agreed to meet again after the regular Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, March 10. They also agreed to spend already-budgeted dollars for updated population data from the Kentucky State Data Center at the University of Louisville. During a brief review of Chapter I – containing the land-use plan’s goals and objectives – Comp Plan committee Chair Patty Perry said the legislative bodies made two changes from what was recommended by the Planning Commission. Rather than include an objective to “promote and encourage” the extension of Falling Springs Boulevard to Frankfort Road at or near its intersection with Midway Road, the objective as adopted by Woodford Fiscal Court and the cities of Midway and Versailles states: “Promote and encourage projects to minimize through-traffic on main streets and narrow residential streets…” Perry, Jim Boggs and Rich Schein, Midway’s representative on the commission, all voted in opposition to action by the commission in September 2016 to include the bypass extension as an objective in the updated land-use plan. And rather than including language, which allows “justified expansions” of urban service boundaries, an objective instead states: Manage the location of the Urban Service Boundaries to meet the needs of, and consider the impact on, the community as a whole. Earlier in the work session, Perry suggested revising several descriptive paragraphs in chapter II. For example, the land-use plan references an economic downturn and recession, and describes rural residential neighborhoods as emerging and popular. Both are no longer accurate statements, she said. Much of the information contained in Chapter II: Existing Conditions and Background Research – as it relates to the natural land and water features as well as soils and the land’s topography – will not change. One area that needs updating is the acreage in the county that’s protected by conservation easements. Also, new data collected in August 2011 provides updated information related to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

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