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SHEPHERDSVILLE - Residents in the Settlers Gap neighborhood remain dissatisfied with the use of a neighboring property.
With their hands tied legally, the Shepherdsville City Council offered moral support, encouraging concerned residents to challenge the rezoning in Bullitt Circuit Court.
Last summer a number of the residents addressed the council regarding the potential rezoning of a property owned by George Miller located along High School Drive near Bullitt Central.
The rezoning would allow plans for an apartment complex on the site. At the time the city contacted the Bullitt County Attorney’s Office because of confusion pertaining to the property’s current zoning status.
Miller believed the property to be zoned R-3 residential, which would allow for the proposed apartment complex. However, city officials were unable to verify the zoning and sent the issue to Bullitt County Planning and Zoning.
Records from 1977 showed the city council voted 4-2 in favor of the property’s rezoning, but an ordinance was never published.
Miller received a letter from the city stating that the zoning was indeed residential.
Lindsey Wolff, an Arrowhead Lane resident, was concerned that Settlers Gap was notified of a meeting in regards to the rezoning, but Arrowhead Lane residents were not.
Mayor Scott Ellis said that was for the relating Planning and Zoning meeting.
Wolff addressed concerns that the city mentioned, at past meetings, the lack of proof that the Miller property was zoned R-3 residential. Ellis said that was why the issue was sent back to Planning and Zoning.
City attorney Joe Wantland said Miller took the issue to Bullitt Circuit Court, taking the issue out of Shepherdsville’s hands. He said residents would need to also file in circuit court to oppose.
“You have the burden of proof,” he said.
“Mr. Miller has money and we don’t,” Wolff countered. “He has a wide variety of contacts. The citizens did the right thing, Planning and Zoning didn’t. Why is the burden from the citizens when the paperwork (for the rezoning) was not there?”
(The planning commission has not held any meetings regarding the rezoning. A request from Wantland for the commission to look at the issue was returned to the city. The commission claimed that it took action back in the 1970s and nothing else has been done regarding rezoning issues since.)
Wantland said the circuit judge would have to approve the rezoning. Ellis reminded that city could not file suit in the situation.
Glenn Gray, representing the Bullitt Masonic Lodge which borders the property in question, said the lodge would offer citizens a meeting place during future efforts.
“I know for a fact that people lost money on their housing contract because of this place,” Gray said. “These are hard-working citizens here and letting this in is ludicrous. This area was never intended for multi-family dwellings.”
Rick Talbott, a Huron Court resident for six years, told the council he thought he found a place to retire.
“I’m opposed to Secion 8 housing,” he said. “I believe I’m very fair, and that God should allow everyone a place to live…but not here.”
Talbott said it was “appalling” that the complex was “snuck in” to the area.
“We don’t want this in our community,” he said. “I’ve seen other Section 8 housing, and it’s terrible.”
Talbott felt something else could be implemented on the property, suggesting that Miller and the council work together to decide another solution, such as a park or an extra parking lot for Bullitt Central.
“We don’t wanter it to be a loss, we want it to be a benefit,” he said. “There must be a better resolution. Let your heart be your guide to it.”
Council members agreed that the city could not take specific action but could assist any individuals that filed for court via recommendations.
“We need the citizens to keep the council posted,” said council member Jose Cubero. “We speak as neighbors. We don’t like it, either.”
“You are my neighbors,” said council member Faith Portman, who lived near the vicinity. “Keep it up, and thanks for your efforts.”