Councilman asks that rezoning have rules

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By Alex Wimsatt

MOUNT WASHINGTON - Whether Mount Washington City Council members vote to rezone a 90-acre development in the city or not may depend on whether the applicants can meet a councilman’s request. 

The council heard first reading of an ordinance to rezone 90 acres on the south side of Highway 44 East and East Sanders lane from R-2 Residential to R-3 during its last regular meeting. 

On behalf of Roger Hahn and Jerry Blacketer of Twin Eagles Development LLC, attorney Eric Farris explained that his clients requested rezoning so they could build homes with garages on the property.

Farris said under R-2 zoning it would be impossible to build a home of the footage required and still have room for a garage due to R-2 setback requirements.

Because most new-home buyers seek homes with garages, Farris said the property has been unmarketable. 

“Buyers want garages,” he said. 

Farris pointed out that tracts north, west and across East Sanders Lane have already been zoned R-3. 

Councilman Barry Armstrong asked if lot sizes had been determined, Farris said there was no layout as of yet.

Armstrong then expressed concern over houses being built too close together with the shorter setbacks allowed under R-3 zoning. 

The councilman then asked if the developers would consider maintaining R-2 lot sizes, which can be no less than 9,000 square-feet, if the city agreed to rezone the property to R-3. 

Farris said his clients would consider the requests. 

The Bullitt County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended rezoning the property under certain restrictions in September. 

First, apartments or town homes are banned from being constructed on the property. 

Second, each single-family home must have a minimum of 1,100 square-feet of living space on the first floor.

And lastly the developers must grant a 10-foot easement along the property line on the southwest side along East Sanders Lane outside of the existing easement for future road widening. 

In other business:

*The council unanimously an ordinance that leaves the city’s 2012 real and personal property tax rates unchanged from last year. 

Under the ordinance Mount Washington property owners will pay 11.4 cents on each $100 of assessed real and personal property value in taxes to the city.

Because the city raised the real and personal property rate last year, Fick said the city would receive about what was generated last year, $971,787.

This year the city expects to collect over $1 million in real and personal property tax revenue.

Mount Washington’s real property value assessment increased by more than $22.5 million from nearly $855 million in 2011, making it one of the handful of Bullitt County’s eight cities that saw an increase in real property value. 

* Thrissie Dohn of Bullitt County Parners In Prevention addressed the council to talk a little about the organization and to ask for their support. 

Dohn said the program is federally funded and is currently in its fifth year, adding that volunteers are working to bring all of Bullitt County’s eight cities together in support of the organization. 

She explained that Partners In Prevention provides alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention programs. 

With countywide support, Dohn said the program has accomplished many things, from making sure Alcoholic Beverage Control laws are enforced to providing $10,000 to local schools for drug testing.

“We’re never going to win the war on drugs, but as long as people pull together we can make a difference,” Dohn said. 

Dohn noted the Partners In Prevention coalition meets the third Tuesday of each month at noon at the Bullitt County Health Department, 181 Lees Valley Road in Shepherdsville.  

Lunch is provided at each coalition meeting. Call Cynthia Brown at 502-955-5355 for more information.  

*The council unanimously approved two ordinances confirming annexation ordinances passed in 1987 and 2001. 

Local surveyor John St. Clair began re-evaluating the city’s annexation ordinances last year when city officials discovered many properties within the city were deemed unmappable by the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Land Office.

The properties were deemed unmappable because, for various reasons, the legal descriptions in the annexation ordinances provided by the city did not satisfy requirements set forth by the state.

Since last summer St. Clair has taken annexation ordinances one by one to make sure they met state requirements.

The ordinances confirming annexation ordinances before the council will ensure that the properties referred to are mapped properly by the state.

*The next regular meeting of the Mount Washington City Council will be held on Monday, Oct. 22 at the City Hall Annex Building on Branham way. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited.