• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Midway Station zone change will meet need, Soper says

The Woodford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) wants to rezone properties in the Midway Station industrial park to create more opportunities to market additional lots for new industry and business, said EDA Chair John Soper. He said there’s no demand for professional office (P-1) or residential in Midway Station, so rezoning several lots to I-1 (light industrial) and B-5 (highway business) will create more opportunity to sell those properties. He also pointed out that Midway Station land is “much cheaper” than the limited industrial land available in Lexington, which has stimulated interest in the property. A public hearing on the EDA’s request to rezone Midway Station lots on McKinney Avenue and Sharon Street from P-1 to B-5 and I-1, and from R-3 (medium density residential) to I-1 is scheduled Thursday, May 9. The Versailles- Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission’s meeting begins 6:30 p.m. in the second-floor courtroom of the Woodford County Courthouse. Representatives of Journey Ministries church (not affiliated with Journey Church in Versailles) and a boat dealership are currently negotiating with the Woodford County EDA to acquire lots in Midway Station, according to Soper. He said both potential users wanted B-5 property, which led the EDA to seek this zone change on land previously under the control of developer Dennis Anderson. He no longer has an option to sell property at Midway Station. Soper said that puts him and the EDA in a position where they determine if a potential business or industry is a good fit for Midway Station. An interested user that wanted to bring in an industry with low-paying jobs was not a good fit with Woodford County’s low unemployment rate, he explained. “Right now,” said Soper, “our focus is on the lots that are zoned and can be rezoned” to meet the needs of potential industrial users. He said the EDA’s efforts will then migrate to finding users for B-5 properties, which will become more valuable as additional jobs are created by industry in Midway Station. “Obviously, I’d love to try to get a hotel here,” said Soper. “A hotel would probably be the biggest user. A sit-down restaurant, maybe – I don’t know. We’ll just have to get there and see.” The EDA continues to “map out a long-range connection” between McKinney Avenue and the adjacent 137-acre Homer Michael Freeny Jr. Trust property, which will eventually be used by industry, said Soper. He noted that businesses can create the same number or more jobs per acre than industry, although they may not be as high-paying. Other items on the Planning Commission agenda include an amended final record plat for 273 Brunswick Circle (Ball Homes) in the Edmonds Cross residential subdivision; an amended final record plat for several lots on Hastings Lane (Ball Homes) in Edmonds Cross; a first amended final record plat for 775 McKinney Avenue in Midway Station (EDA); a final record plat for Leland Estates (Larry Donnell), 13 lots at 4395 Troy Pike; a final record plat for 231 and 363 Fintville Road (Lucien Brooks Estate/Charles Baker); a public hearing on a zone change request from A-1 (agriculture) to CO-1 (conservation) and minor subdivision plat at 425 Hippe-Agee Road; and a public hearing on a first amended preliminary development plan and preliminary plat for 174 Abbey Road (Anderson acquisitions), Wooldridge Gardens subdivision.

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