Concerns raised over request for rezoning in downtown MW

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By Alex Wimsatt

    MOUNT WASHINGTON - Several residents have expressed concern over a potential property rezoning at Bardstown Road and Highway 44.

    Some made their voices heard during the Bullitt County Planning and Zoning Commission’s April meeting.

    Attorney John Wooldridge, representing Bards-Wash, LLC, requested a favorable recommendation to change the zoning of the former Central garage lot from B-2 central business to B-1 highway business, allowing Eric Hayden Motors, LLC, to rent the property and operate an automotive body paint shop.

    Wooldridge said the current zoning doesn’t allow automotive repair on the property; B-1 classification would allow it.

    Wooldridge said Hayden was paying rent for the property and needed to know if improvements were allowed before further work began. He said the structure would remain the same, while Hayden cleaned up the building and lot to operate an automotive body paint shop

     Wooldridge insisted that neither the property owners nor the tenants planned to demolish the existing building or build a new one.

    “We believe the zoning application is appropriate,” he said.

    Mount Washington resident James Breeden expressed opposition to the zoning change, citing concern that the zoning switch would make it possible for a less desirable business to move in when the current tenants move out.

    Breeden said he was also concerned that the value of his nearby property on Bardstown Road would decrease. He said he was opposed to the zoning change not the business.

    Jonathan Rideout represented McFarland-Troutman Funeral Home, located across 31E from the property. Rideout was unhappy with the proposed change.

    “We’re already faced with a dumpster lot on the other side (of the funeral home) that our families have to look at,” Rideout said.

    Lori Puchino, with the Mount Washington Main Street committee and Bullitt County’s Operation Bright and Beautiful, said she wanted planning and zoning to give an unfavorable recommendation because she’s fearful a zoning change would become “a serious detriment to our downtown improvement efforts.”

    Puchino felt that a body shop would move current progress in the wrong direction, adding that she didn’t mind the business itself in another area.

    Planning and Zoning commissioner Sam  Beichler pointed out that the property couldn’t be rezoned because the lot was too narrow to meet B-1 requirements.

    Following discussion, a motion was made to give an unfavorable recommendation based on not meeting minimum B-1 requirements.

    Six members voted in favor of the motion, two voted no and one abstained.

    Roanne Hammond of the Planning and Zoning Commission said in order for a piece of property to be classified as B-1 there were required setbacks, including at least 50 feet in the front, 25 feet in the sides and 30 feet in the back.

    “The property didn’t meet the lot size and set back requirements,” Hammond said.

    Planning and Zoning’s unfavorable recommendation will go to the Mount Washington Council for consideration.

    The council will make a final decision on the zoning change.