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Heritage Hill rezoning is pulled from consideration

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30 words or less: Any rezoning of the property would have to begin at square one in the zoning process

By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Without the time needed to guarantee another entry point into a proposed industrial site, applicants hoping to rezone 650 acres have withdrawn their request.

Owners of Valley View Farm Inc. and Heritage Hill golf and residential community have withdrawn a rezoning request from Residential to IG Light Industrial.

The request would allow the owners of the financially-strapped development to sell 100 acres of the property to Crossdock Development for at least a couple distribution warehouse facilities.

The rest of the property would be kept to operate the 18-hole award-winning golf course.

After receiving an unfavorable recommendation from the Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission, attorney Eric Farris sought for a delay in consideration until late August or early September by the Shepherdsville City Council, which has the final vote.

However, the council voted to require the zoning process to continue. A first reading was to be held on Monday, July 23, with a second reading and public hearing on July 30. A vote was expected that night.

“We need more time to consider all our options,” said Farris in seeking the withdrawal.

From the public discussions, Farris said the top concern remains the use of Valley View Drive by trucks entering the warehouses.

His clients have been attempting to secure a separate entrance into the property while not disturbing the golf course. While talks continue, Farris said it couldn’t all be resolved in time for the July 30 meeting.

“We’re trying to take steps to protect the people,” said Farris.

He knew when the July 30 special meeting was set that it would be very difficult to get everything done in two weeks.

Residents who encouraged the city council to move forward with the zoning said that the applicants have had months to work with the community.

If the applicants had not withdrawn the request and it had been denied, a one-year moratorium would be placed on the property if an identical request were made.

With the withdrawal, a new rezoning request could be made and the process start over at the beginning.

Farris said his clients continue to work on the long-term prospects for the golf course and the residential community. He said the willingness of The Peoples Bank of Bullitt County to help the owners work through financial hardships has been very valuable.

At this stage, Farris said he didn’t know when the application would be filed once again. The planning commission would hold a new public hearing and the case would then be sent to the city council.

The development was in the early stages when the economic downturn started. The golf course has been self-supporting but those funds are not enough to keep the entire development operational. 

Only about 50 homes have been built in the subdivision.

Several residents appeared at Monday’s meeting and were upset that the council could allow the request without any input.

Mayor Scott Ellis said that the letter was received and the council had traditionally honored similar requests.

Attorney Joseph Wantland said the city could face some ramifications legally if the applicants’ wishes were not followed. Also, he said, any new request for a new rezoning would have to follow all the steps - including a public hearing with the planning commission.