MW council to get shot at vote on rezoning

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By Mallory Bilger

MOUNT WASHINGTON ee" The Mount Washington City Council will vote tonight on a controversial rezoning request involving land slated to become a new subdivision on Bleemel Lane

Paragon Homes has requested to rezone a 19-acre tract on Bleemel Lane from agricultural to R-3 residential.

Many surrounding homeowners believe the development would cause significant drainage and traffic problems.

The council had its first reading of the ordinance Dec. 14 that could overturn the Bullitt County Planning Commission’s unfavorable recommendation to rezone the property.

The Planning Commission indicated it gave the request an unfavorable recommendation because the developers initially refused to commit 10 feet of the property along Bleemel Lane to future road improvements. That, along with some other concerns, have been addressed in the Council’s ordinance.

The City Council’s ordinance included many stipulations that were inserted after the developers and their attorney, Mark Edison, heard comments from surrounding citizens. Those stipulations included the following: that the developers would commit 10 feet of property along Bleemel Lane to accommodate future road improvements; the development will include more than 61 lots with a 9,000 square-foot lot minimum; the homes would be single-family dwellings only; no driveways would be located on Bleemel Lane; and the homes would be 80 percent brick accept for those homes fronting a street. Those fronting a street would have to be 100 percent brick.

Many people living in surrounding subdivisions are concerned about the development compounding existing drainage issues.

City Engineer Dave Derrick said even if the Council approves the rezoning request, the city can later refuse the development’s design plans if they do not meet proper drainage requirements.

Resident Jimmy Wright, who lives on Forest Drive in a subdivision downhill from the property, said the drainage issues must be fixed.

“The drainage is a real problem,” Wright said. “It’s really got to be addressed. I can’t do a thing. I’m stuck.”

Derrick said the city’s current drainage policy for developers will not allow any new developments to compound existing drainage problems.

“If there’s down stream problems we could require Paragon to eliminate these problems or install retention basins to fix that,” Derrick said.

But Edison said the Council needed to remember the zoning issue at hand.

“We’re here on a zoning case, not a drainage plan review,” he said.

Resident Craig Badder of Highland Springs subdivision wanted reassurance that the homes weren’t going to bring down surrounding property values. He also shared others’ concerns about drainage and traffic.

“We don’t want little houses next to ours to lower the value,” Badder said. “I definitely wouldn’t want a 1,300 square foot house here.”

The developers indicated they were not sure what the home sizes would be until the development’s planning stages progressed. The developers said they didn’t want to delve any further into the project unless they were granted the rezoning request.

The council will have its second reading of the ordinance to overturn the Planning Commission’s unfavorable recommendation of the rezoning request this evening at the Council’s regular 6:30 p.m. meeting at the City Hall Annex on Branham Way.