Commission discusses exactions fees, approves zoning ordinances

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Nicholasville City Commission discussed exaction fees regarding a developing 150-unit fourplex complex at its most recent meeting on Monday.

An exaction fee is a direct payment by a property developer to the local government in the development area. In Nicholasville, these fees help provide sound infrastructure and public safety (police, fire and emergency 911).

The annexation committee recommends that the city charge the developers for the 150-unit complex $1,500 per unit, as this is the typical fee for developers building single-family units in Jessamine County.

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Which means the developers would have to pay a $228,000 exaction fee. If this complex included multi-family housing, the amount would instead be $700 per unit.

Commissioner Patty Teater states these two fees have been the same for at least five years.

Bruce Smith, a local attorney and representative for this development, attempted to wager for the $700 fee instead.

Commissioner Pete Sutherland said it may be wise to consider negotiating with the developers to solidify the project, leading to high property taxes benefiting the city.

However- the construction value of the property is estimated at about $200 million, and the overall value of the units would be about $30 million.

As soon as Smith informed the Commission of the value of this project, Commissioner Bethany Brown said she would not be interested in negotiating.

Brown said $228,000 is “non-material” for a $200 million project. “I’m not willing to budge,” she said.

$228,000 is only about 10 percent of the total project value.

Due to the issue of precedence mentioned by Teater and concurred by Mayor Alex Carter, and the Commission not wanting to go against the annexation committee’s recommendation, no further action was taken on this issue- leaving the exaction fee for the 150-unit fourplex project at $228,000.

However, the Commission agreed that there needs to be further research into these exaction fees compared to similar counties and even an ordinance solidifying the fee.

“I think we’re doing ourselves a disservice if we keep it the same without looking into it. And I think setting an ordinance would cover us very well,” Brown added, stating that the Commission might also need to raise the fee.

Teater asked administrative employees at the meeting to research the topic and prepare it for a November/December workshop meeting.


The Commission heard the first reading of several ordinances during the meeting.

Ordinance 129-2023 would amend the official zoning map of the city of Nicholasville per the recommendation of the Nicholasville Planning Commission to approve the zone map amendment to B-2 (highway business district) for approximately 1.79 acres of property located at 1300 Hoover Pike.

According to planning and zoning director Tim Cross, the intended use for the property is a contractor’s warehouse-type business, like a contractor’s plumbing supply.

Ordinance 130-2023 would amend the official zoning map of the city of Nicholasville following the recommendation of the Nicholasville Planning Commission to approve the zone map amendment to I-1 (light industrial district) for approximately 2.44 acres of property located at 3181 Catnip Hill.

Ordinance 131-2023 will replace and repeal Ordinance 126-2023, which set the city’s 2024 tax rates because of an administrative error.

The personal and real property tax rates are 18.6 cents per every $100 valuation and is 19.7 cents per every $100 valuation for motor vehicles and watercraft.