• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

No support to change seasonal restriction for campgrounds

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to not amend an ordinance limiting a private campground’s months of operation after a public hearing Jan. 10. Its recommendation to not allow year-round campgrounds goes to Woodford Fiscal Court and the Versailles and Midway city councils for final action.

In her staff report to the commission, Planning Director Pattie Wilson noted there’s a concern that a recreational vehicle could become a permanent dwelling if this ordinance was amended. She also pointed out that amending language that allows campgrounds as a conditional-use in the CO-1 district would potentially affect 13,019 acres, or 10.6 percent of Woodford County’s total land area. Currently, one private campground exists. Its owner, John Davis, asked the Board of Adjustment (BOA) to amend his conditional-use permit so he could operate his campground along the Kentucky River at 5486 Cummins Ferry Road on a year-round basis. The BOA denied that request in December 2016, so Davis had to continue to operate his campground as a seasonal use from April 1 to Nov. 30. Neighbors opposing his request to open a year-round private campground spoke during the BOA hearing and again at the hearing last Thursday. Spurgeon Chapman again described the campground as “a gypsy park,” that’s not being used for recreational purposes, where “we’ve already had problems…”

“Residents of this road do not want the campground to be anything more than it was originally permitted to be – a short-term recreational campground,” wrote Cummins Ferry Road residents Jeff Gitlin and Jacqui Linder in a letter to the commission. They also pointed out if allowed to operate on a year-round basis, “it is no longer a campground – it has become a mobile home park.”

In her motion recommending no change to the ordinance regulating campgrounds as a seasonal conditional-use, Commissioner Patty Perry shared the concerns of neighbors.

“I think it opens up an avenue for things like this to develop throughout these (CO-1) areas,” said Perry. “And I’m afraid this land would end up simply being a year-round trailer park. And that’s very concerning to me.”

Citing the fact that over 10 percent of the land in Woodford County is zoned CO-1, Commissioner Rich Shein said, “We’re not making a decision about this property. We’re making a decision about (property zoned as conservation in) the entire county.”

Prior to the commission’s vote, Davis said it’s a financial hardship to make his business shut down for four months and he does not want to operate a mobile home park, but temporary workers need a place to stay during the winter months too.

“Very seldom do we have anybody that stays 180 days,” he said.

In a separate vote, the Planning Commission recommended that the court and city councils approve a second proposed text amendment.

It changes an ordinance for recreational vehicles to include language that describes an RV as a temporary “transient dwelling” for travel, recreation and vacation use.

The hearing on the text amendments was conducted at the request of fiscal court after it was petitioned by Davis, Wilson told commission members.

Commissioner Tim Parrott was absent.

Zone change

The commission unanimously voted to recommend a zone change of 3.168 acres from R-1C (single-family residential): planned unit development to R-4 (high density residential): PUD in order to allow 34 townhouses on Abbey Road in the Wooldridge Gardens residential neighborhood along Falling Springs Boulevard. Its recommendation goes to the Versailles City Council.

Anderson Acquisitions, LLC was previously approved to develop 32 townhouses on the site near Woodford County Middle School.

Jon Strom, an attorney representing the developer, said, “We’re seeking this zone change to add a townhouse element to a neighborhood that already features single-family homes and apartments,” during a public hearing last month.

Midway Station

The commission approved an amended final record plat for four lots (621, 641, 661 and 681 Midway Station Boulevard) in the Midway

Station industrial park, located north of the I-64 interchange. The amended plat reconfigures the lots and eliminates a common access easement.

Officers, committees

Planning commissioners voted unanimously to reelect Chad Wells as chair, Perry as vice chair and Ed McLees as secretary.

The commission also reelected committee members for 2019. Perry will again serve as chair of the Comprehensive Plan committee, with Jeri Hartley, Parrott and Schein. Randal Bohannon returns as chair of the personnel and budget committee, with Perry, McLees and Schein. McLees will again serve as chair of the legal committee, with Barry Drury, Parrott and Chantel Bingham. Hartley returns as chair of the subdivision regulations committee, with Drury, Bohannon and Bingham.

Wells recommended that committee membership remain the same because of ongoing litigation involving the 2018 update of the Comprehensive Plan.

The land use plan (adopted by the Planning Commission) included language identifying the 337-acre Edgewood Farm property on Lexington Road as being within the urban service boundary of Versailles. The Edgewood property has been annexed by the City of Versailles and rezoned for urban uses. Both actions are being challenged in Woodford Circuit Court. “It would be unrealistic to expect that (Edgewood litigation) to be resolved in the next six months,” said commission attorney Jacob Walbourn, who was in court on the matter a day earlier.

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