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Developer fires back at planning commission

Plans to take subdivision plans to city commission to seek approval

The Jessamine County Planning Commission denied plans earlier this month that would allow 63 acres of land off of Shun Pike to be developed into a single-family residential district. Voting 4 to 3, the commission ultimately was against the development, known as “Half Acres,” based on its undersize to meet the comprehensive plan to medium to low-density residential saying there needs to be 15,000 square feet per lot. Those on the board denying the development were David Royse, Matt Galbraith, Burt Ladd and Billy Craycraft. The Planning Commission was contacted for comment and failed to respond.

However, developer Lloyd Watkins said that is not the case.

“We are very disappointed with the planning commission’s decision on denying our proposed subdivision on Shun Pike,” Watkins said. “We have spent a lot of time on this project and made a lot of changes before submitting the plans for approval because we wanted a subdivision that we could be proud of and one that the city could be proud of too.”

A native of Jessamine County, Watkins said he has heard nothing but positive responses from city employees, the staff of the planning and zoning, neighbors and builders about the project. Stating the county has enough rental property, Watkins believes what it needs is a nice subdivision for new and/or growing families.

“Our existing layout has .60 acre lots to 2.8 acre lots with the larger lots being in the cul-de-sac,” Watkins said. “We like our layout and to change it would disrupt the flow and will not work as well nor will it look as well. If you take our square footage and divide it by 150 lots you will get the 15,000 square feet that is required for the comprehensive plan land use. The commission refused our request only because it did not meet the comprehensive plan square footage for that area of our county per the comprehensive plan.”

Watkins said he feels the development will be good for both the city and the county, collecting on average about $4,110.00 per year in taxes for the county, and $697.50 for the city. Schools, he said, would also receive around $2,598 per year in additional taxes as well.

“Totals for this subdivision average out to be around $616,500.00 for the county and $104,62.5.00 for the city, with $389,700.00 per year for the schools,” Watkins said. “Let’s not forget the sewer water department will also collect $108,000.00 per year if this subdivision is developed. There are no losers here.”

The development will consist of 1,700 square foot homes with an attached two car garage on each lot and two street trees. Houses will be 100 percent rock or brick on the front, 75 percent on the sides and 30 percent on the rear with no metal roofs allowed.

“Just think of how this new subdivision will impact our community,” Watkins said. “All the different trades that will be used to build this subdivision and new homes. The money that it will generate for our community will be millions of dollars.”

The next Nicholasville City Commission meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. April 9, at the Nicholasville City Hall located at 517 N. Main St.