Pioneer Village makes double sure zoning change for commercial property proper

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By Stephen Thomas

PIONEER VILLAGE - A business rezoning in Pioneer Village was approved in spite of legal confusion and an unfavorable recommendation by Bullitt County Joint Planning and Zoning.

But it took two votes — just to make sure.

The city council voted to approve a rezoning of 1.02 acres owned by Robert Gibson from R-1 Residential to B-2 Business during its July meeting.

With some question over the number of votes needed to override the planning commission’s recommendation, mayor Gary Hatcher said it was best to come back a few weeks later and vote once again.

The property is located behind the Windstream switch station on Windy Hill Road.

In June the council discussed the commission’s unfavorable recommendation. City attorney Mark Edison said the recommendation was made based on incorrect information.

Prior to the second reading and vote at the July meeting, council member Darlene Herps supplied further information. She said a rezoning to B-2 business required five or more acres of property.

Edison said the city had approved other rezonings in the past that were less than five acres. Council member Peggy Druin said the rezoning should be allowed based on precedence.

Edison added that the commission recommendations in all past zoning situations similar to the Gibson rezoning had been favorable.

Herps made a motion to deny the rezoning. There was no second. Council member Phillip Radford motioned to approve the rezoning, seconded by Druin.

Herps requested that the city send a copy of the rezoning ordinance to the county to avoid future responsibility on the city’s part in future similar situations.

“I think this is a mess,” she said.

The council voted 3-1 to approve, with Herps voting against (Council members Dorleen Garrett and Robert Hester were absent).

On Aug. 11, the council voted 5-1 to approve the zoning with Herps still in opposition. She wanted to make sure findings of facts were included in the ordinance to overturn the planning commission’s recommendation.

In other business:

- The council reauthorized the execution of bonds for Little Flock Baptist Church.

A total of $1.65 million was refinanced from floating rates to fixed rates.

Edison said the refinancing itself was not the city’s responsibility. He said the city’s budget ordinance would need to be amended, however.

- The next meeting of the Pioneer Village City Council takes place Tuesday, Aug. 25, 7:30 p.m., at Becknell Hall. The public is invited to attend.