Lone Oak residents urge officials to ‘do the right thing’

Published 10:06 am Thursday, November 7, 2019

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Nicholasville Planning and Zoning denies proposed development for country club

Last week, Nicholasville Planning and Zoning passed a 6-4 vote denying a proposed development for Lone Oak Country Club.
The planning commission was contacted, and Dean Anness, planning director for the City of Nicholasville, declined to comment stating he had been advised to only speak with the planning and zoning department and the city commission. General questions however, Anness said, could be directed to the attorney for Nicholasville Planning and Zoning Bobby Gullette. Gullette has represented the planning and zoning commission for 38 years in Jessamine County.
“The planning commission is a recommending body only,” Gullette said. “A final decision on zone change is always made by a governing body.”
Gullette said the Nicholasville City Commission has three choices moving forward.
First, it could hold a public hearing. Second, officials can vote to uphold the recommendation to deny application for zone amendment or third, return the recommendation and grant the zone map amendment.
“They have to do it within 90 days of last Monday night,” Gullette said. “Normally they do it in 30 to 60. They have to wait on transcript to be prepared. That (could take) two or three weeks. Depends on who is doing it and how hard they are pushed.”
Earlier this year, the Nicholasville City Commission met in City Hall where it unanimously approved a second reading for the intent to annex Lone Oak Country Club. The motion to accept the ordinance was made by Nicholasville Mayor Pete Sutherland and seconded by City Commissioner Doug Blackford.
At the meeting, Sutherland told those in attendance the commission would listen to residents for a duration of 30 minutes before making its final vote. Among the list of things residents brought to the commission’s attention in opposition to the annexation were home depreciation, taking away of greenspace from future generations and no constituents raising their hand in favor of the development and the common sense to not disrupt the quality of life in Jessamine County.
Anna Wilson, who lives on Fairway West, spoke at last Monday’s meeting and said, “We have heard from the experts who were doing what they were paid to do. Now it (is) time for the planning and zoning board to hear us who know the potential problems because we are living now with the effects of our weak infrastructure already.”
Wilson used three examples in her speech, toilet paper and human waste in yards, the traffic on 29 especially related to the school year, and the failed water retention. She also mentioned school enrollment numbers as an issue with the development and stated the development would affect the entire city through increased taxes or various fees to pay for improvements to the infrastructure.
Dale Warren, who lives on Fairway Drive spoke at the meeting and urged the planning and zoning department to save the golf course. He stated although he has never golfed, he likes the idea of his home backing up to green space.
“Over the years, I have seen an abundance of wildlife including deer, waterfowl, blue heron, and various four-legged creatures and culminating last week with golfers I spotted 13 wild turkey on the course,” Warren said. “Also, two wildlife protected areas exist on the course that are left in a native state. In the winter and late at night I often walk with my dog on this beautiful green space to the large creek at the opposite end. To be out in the stars at night with no light pollution is a glorious sight, literally in my backyard.”
Under the current development, Warren said the protected native spaces would be built over.
“The so called ‘green’ spaces would be ponds, actually water retention basins which can’t be built on,” Warren said. “The other quote ‘green’ spaces exist under unattractive power lines, again where no houses can be built. There is literally no viable green space.”
Wilson ended her speech last week to the planning and zoning board by quoting “To Kill a Mocking Bird” and stated, “For the love of God, do the right thing.”

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