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Edgewood battle may not be over yet

The attorneys representing groups seeking to stop the proposed Edgewood development on Lexington Road said Monday that their clients haven’t decided whether to take their fight to the state Court of Appeals. The July 24 decision by Woodford Circuit Judge Jeremy Mattox denied the groups’ motions to alter, amend or vacate his Feb. 18 ruling that upheld actions taken by the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning and Zoning Commission and Versailles City Council. Left unchallenged, Mattox’s decision could clear the way for homes, businesses, an industrial park, and perhaps a new site for Bluegrass Community Hospital on 336 acres on the north side of Lexington Road, just east of Kroger. Hank Graddy represents the Woodford Coalition and Paynes Mill Committee; Chris Clendenen the Pisgah Neighborhood Association. (Ben and Jennifer Chandler, whose family owns the Sun, are among the 20 or so plaintiffs in the suit filed by the Pisgah Neighborhood Association.) “We’re still deciding. It’s likely that we will (appeal),” Clendenen said. “I’ve recommended (an appeal) … ” Graddy said. “My clients are considering it, and I believe that I will be instructed to file a notice of appeal.” The original suits were filed nearly four years ago and took aim at a series of decisions by the Planning Commission and city council. The suits claimed the Planning Commission arbitrarily amended the Comprehensive Plan to expand the Urban Services Boundary (USB), which allowed the council to rezone the property (which it had annexed) to be developed for urban uses. They also alleged the rezoning was arbitrary, not based on substantial evidence, and violated the goals and objectives of the commission’s 2011 Comprehensive Plan, which said the land should remain agricultural. In a series of rulings, Mattox didn’t agree with those and other allegations. Graddy again took issue with critics’ claims that the suits could not only lead to Bluegrass Community Hospital not building a new facility, but also perhaps leaving Woodford County. “I think this community needs to protect the jobs it has (including) agriculture jobs as well as other jobs. It does not need more residential land and I think this was an unwise annexation and unwise proposal to add 300 acres to the urban service boundary. It’s far more than is needed and it is really bad planning,” Graddy said. Graddy said the groups he represents did not oppose development on the Backer properties across the road because they’d been in the USB for many years, adding, “When the time is right, they should be developed. But not on the north side of U.S. 60, outside the urban service boundary established in 2011 and prior to that.” The land for the proposed Edgewood development is owned by the Field family and presently full of corn and soybeans. “And it’s a beautiful entrance to Versailles,” Graddy said. A call to hospital CEO Tommy Haggard asking if owner LifePoint Health is still considering building a new facility in Edgewood was not returned, nor was a call to would-be Edgewood developer CRM Properties of Lexington. LifePoint Health owns Bluegrass Community Hospital. The Sun was asked to email questions to LifePoint’s vice president of communications and did so, after which Michelle Augusty replied, “Given that this is active litigation in which LifePoint and/or Bluegrass Community Hospital is not involved, it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time.”

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