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Mattingly rezoning receives OK

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By The Staff

CLERMONT - It took more time and study than usual but Bullitt Fiscal Court unanimously agreed to rezone a 3.7-acre tract off Old Highway 245.

Despite concerns from Jim Beam Brands Distillery and Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, court members felt that Leonard and Christopher Mattingly should be allowed to rezone their property from Conservation and R-1 Residential to B-1 Highway Business.

The applicants want to continue an auto storage facility off Old Highway 245 near Meadow Peak Subdivision.

According to the applicants, the vehicles are purchased at auction and then brought to the facility to be cleaned up and then sold. Vehicles stay on the property less than two weeks and no repair work can be done.

At three previous public hearings on the request, attorney Keith Brown of Jim Beam Brands mentioned the need to preserve the Highway 245 corridor for tourism-related businesses.

Bernheim Forest is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kentucky and Jim Beam is building a multi-million dollar visitors experience. The county has also secured a grant to beautify that corridor.

Magistrate David Walker said the court had spent more than the normal length of time researching the request.

He is 100 percent in support of protecting the corridor for tourism.

In fact, he urged those with Bernheim and Jim Beam to work with tourist officials to meet with planning and zoning leaders to develop a plan for corridor.

In listening to the comments, Walker said the main concern seemed to be the visibility of the storage lot from Highway 245.

By adopting the planning commission’s restriction that the Mattinglys install a visual barrier completely around the property, Walker said that should not be a problem.

In reality, Walker said that the property is quite a distance from Highway 245 already.

“They need a blueprint for that area,” Walker said of the development plan. “And they need to do it quickly.”

To determine whether the rezoning was justified, Walker said there had been a lot of physical and economical changes in the area and he predicted there would be more commercial zoning changes in the future.

The court unanimously approved the rezoning with the condition that the visual barrier must be installed within 120 days.