• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

BOA upholds decision not to allow sawmill in Nonesuch

The Board of Adjustment (BOA) upheld a decision by the zoning administrator not to allow a sawmill business to operate in Nonesuch.

Its decision on Monday came after a public hearing when several neighbors of Thomas Moungey rejected a ruling that he was operating a sawmill business on his property at 3600 Cummins Ferry Road, located in a small community (A-4) zoning district.

Moungey’s neighbors and others who spoke during the hearing described his sawmill operation as a hobby – not a commercial business. Moungey said other sawmills operate in rural areas of Woodford County.

A sawmill business is not a permitted use in the A-4 district under the county’s zoning ordinance, but Moungey argued, “My operation has all of the characteristics of a non-commercial operation…” He pointed out that he uses “a personal, portable sawmill” and only sold lumber to 91 customers in 2016, with a gross income of $7,078.

“It is an agricultural-like operation. It is not a commercial operation,” said Moungey, who noted that he has donated lumber to a toymaker and to a middle school’s woodshop class.

After receiving an anonymous complaint about a sawmill operating in Nonesuch, Planning Director Pattie Wilson said building inspector Isaac Hughes visited Moungey’s property and found a portable sawmill and a large metal building with an assortment of milled wood.

Wilson cited numerous correspondences between Moungey and her office that verifies he was operating a business. Also, his business is posted on Craig’s List, with prices and a contact number for making appointments, she added.

“The sawmill business occurring here,” Wilson told BOA members, “would be considered an industrial use based on the fact that lumber is being milled or prepared, stored and distributed post-sale.” This use would be a permitted use in the I-1 (light industrial) and I-2 (heavy industrial) zoning districts, she added.

The BOA upheld Wilson’s decision not allowing a sawmill business to operate in an A-4 zoning district by a 3 to 1 vote. Al Schooler voted in opposition and Frank Stark was absent.

Prior to their vote, BOA Chair Tim Turney said, “There are other avenues that are probably more appropriate … to get this accomplished.” He cited a text amendment to the zoning ordinance as one possible avenue to pursue in order to allow a sawmill operation like Moungey’s as a permitted use in Woodford County’s A-4 district or other rural areas.

B&B permits

Conditional-use permits were approved for two applicants seeking to open bed and breakfasts in their Midway homes.

Claire Parisel, a former Midway merchant, said she made the decision to open a B&B in her four-bedroom home after people who came into her shop asked her on numerous occasions about a place to stay in Midway. With no local hotels, she said, most stayed outside of Woodford County.

In voicing opposition to a B&B, the vice president of the Northridge Estates Homeowners Association said neighbors in the subdivision are concerned about parking issues that may arise if both rooms are rented. Another concern centered on allowing a business to operate in a residential area, he explained.

“It would change the character of the neighborhood,” a letter from the homeowners association’s board of directors stated. “Presently it is a beautiful, quiet, safe, family-oriented residential neighborhood with no commercial establishments … Allowing a commercial intrusion would be detrimental, making our subdivision less attractive and less peaceful.”

To address concerns related to parking, the BOA approved a condition requiring guests of the B&B to park in its driveway. Also, passenger vehicles in the driveway must remain off the public street to address a related concern about larger vehicles and trailers (owned by guests) being parked in front of the B&B.

The BOA approved a conditional-use permit that allows Connie and Mac Smith to open a two-room B&B in their home at 301 South Turner Street. Two neighbors told the BOA that they are supportive of the plans.

“Frankly,” said David Shaw, “I was thrilled at the possibility of (a B&B) being there for a lot of reasons.” Besides being available for his visiting family members, a bed and breakfast will benefit Midway’s local economy, he said.

Sign variances

The BOA approved an amended application allowing a free-standing sign at the edge of the Frankfort Street right-of-way.

The board had previously approved a request from Rodney King (Bluegrass Lawn Care) for a variance in order to have monument sign at 185 Frankfort Street.

The BOA also approved a 30-foot setback variance for David and Deanna Ramsey (Deanna Ramsey, CPA) allowing them to have a free-standing sign at the edge of the public right-of-way at 205 Frankfort Street.

Both properties are located in the highway business zoning district.

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