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Planners set time limit to hear postponements

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Heritage Hill delay prompts action

By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE — The property owners seeking to rezone 650 acres off Cedar Grove Road will have 60 days to determine the fate of their request.

The Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission granted a request by attorney Eric Farris to postpone the rezoning request of Valley View Farms, which includes Heritage Hill golf course and another 100 acres of undeveloped land.

The hearing was set for Thursday but Farris requested a delay on Tuesday afternoon to allow the applicants more time to deal with the concerns voiced by residents.

The request was to rezone 650 acres from R-3 Residential to IL Light Industrial.

Planning chairman Daryl Lee said there was no reason to deny the request to postpone the hearing; however, he said it wouldn’t be fair to not put some type of time limit on the delay.

“I know there is quite a bit of concern,” said Lee.

While planners were meeting on the third floor of the Nina Mooney Courthouse Annex, concerned residents from the area were outside making donations to the legal fight and passing out T-shirts.

Commissioner Larry Watkins said he felt 60 days was long enough for the applicant to determine whether to move forward with the hearing or to withdraw the application.

Fellow member John Miller said there was a lot of interest in the rezoning but he agreed that 60 days was long enough.

Thomas Givhan, who disqualified from discussion or a vote on the Valley View rezoning, said like a court hearing, both parties should be there to ask for the delay. That way the commission would be able to ask questions.

In addition to the concern over delaying the hearing, Watkins said he felt something needed to be done about the timing of the postponement.

He said there should be at least a seven-day notice to allow the change to be posted in the newspaper and notices sent to surrounding property owners.

Watkins wanted to see something added to the commmission’s by-laws to guide future situations.

Planning attorney Tammy Baker was instructed by the commission to send a letter to the applicant alerting Farris of the 60-day time limit on seeking a new hearing or withdrawing the request.

The rezoning has been very controversial. Residents who have bought home in the golfing community have voiced concerns about property values, traffic, noise and pollution.

The plan unveiled by developer Lee Wilburn is that he would purchase about 100 acres and build one or two warehouse distribution facilities. The main access point would be Valley View Drive, which has created the most ire of the residents.

The golf course would continue in operation. If it fails, Wilburn would have the first option on that property.

The Shepherdsville City Council would have the final decision in the rezoning.