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Bleemel Lane housing proposal draws questions

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By Mallory Bilger

MOUNT WASHINGTON -- County planners had questions about a Paragon Homes property rezoning request and it appears the same might be said of leaders in Mount Washington.

After first placing the item on the table, members of the Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission voted unanimously to send an unfavorable recommendation to rezone 19 acres along Bleemel Lane from Agricultural to R-3 Residential.

The Mount Washington City Council will have the final decision on the rezoning, which is set to be discussed at its Nov. 23 meeting.

Attorney Mark Edison, representing the applicant, Paragon Properties, told planners that the area had changed to more residential. In fact, he said the property is surrounded by subdivisions.

He expected about 60 single-family dwellings on the property with two entrances, as required by Mount Washington building standards.

Surrounding residents were not enthused about the plans.

Craig Badder said the proposal was more densely populated than other nearby developments.

He was also concerned about drainage issues and the size of the homes being smaller than surrounding areas.

If the lots were 75-foot and drainage was proper, Badder said he could feel better about the subdivision.

Trisha Moats said the roads couldn’t handle the additional traffic. She said the schools are already undergoing redistricting due to overcrowding.

Ted Bennett said the lots should be the larger R-1 classification. Bleemel Lane is already dangerous and he said drainage is currently an issue.

He didn’t think any driveways should exit onto Bleemel Lane.

Bennett also voiced concerned about a business that has been run on the property for the past eight months, which he again voiced at a recent Mount Washington City Council meeting.

“They moved in there and do just whatever they want to,” Bennett said.

Darrell Goldsmith said he wanted comparable homes to be built. And he wasn’t in favor of homes with aluminum siding.

Edison said the comprehensive plan already calls for residential development and that agriculture is not the best use of the land.

Mount Washington would require 75-foot lots and there may not be as many as 60 homes once the development plan is completed.

As conditions on the rezoning, Edison said the owners would agree to no apartments, no driveways onto Bleemel Lane and must follow the Mount Washington development plans.

The commission voted 6-3 to table the issue until a subdivision plan was prepared.

However, after Edison said that plats are not required at this stage and planning attorney Rob Flaherty agreed, the commission opened up the discussion once again.

Commissioner Daryl Lee was seeking a 10 foot dedication of property in case the county ever widens it. However, the owners did not approve that agreement.

Without the road dedication and with a 50-foot right-of-way, the commission voted unanimously to send the unfavorable recommendation to the Mount Washington City Council.

Mount Washington City Attorney Norman Lemme said that since the Planning Commission passed down an unfavorable recommendation of the plans, the council had several options including to take no action in the next 90 days and the Planning Commission’s recommendation would stand; overturn the Planning Commissions unfavorable recommendation by ordinance and a majority vote; or make a motion to deny the request.

If the motion to deny carries, the rezoning request would be immediately denied.

Councilman Barry Armstrong suggested in early November that anyone wanting to speak about the issue attend the council’s Nov. 23 meeting and both sides would be allowed to voice their comments.

“I think in fairness to everybody they should be heard,” Armstrong said.

The Mount Washington City Council’s Nov. 23 meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the City Hall Annex on Branham Way. Public documents concerning the request can be viewed at the Bullitt County Planning and Zoning Office on the third floor of the Nina Mooney Annex Building in Shepherdsville or at the Mount Washington City Hall on Snapp Street.