SHEPHERDSVILLE - It has been a long process reworking the planning regulations that date back nearly 40 years.
And revising the subdivision plans to conform with the federally-mandated clean water act hasn’t been much easier.
Before a public hearing is held on the new subdivision regulations, it appears the Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission has a lot of different opinions to consider.
The biggest point of contention continues to be the impact fee proposed for any future development.
Planning chairman Martin Riedling said the impact fee is needed because the county government would be required to maintain drainage and retention areas after the development is complete.
Under the proposal of a minimal impact fee of $400, Riedling said the builders would assist in paying for the maintenance of the program.
Commissioner Russell Price said there should be no additional fees placed upon the consumers and the government should find a way to pay for future maintenance.
Commissioner and retired planning administrator Daryl Lee said he didn’t favor basing the subdivision regulations on the storm water requirements.
He also agreed that the impact fees were too high.
“I can’t go along with the numbers,” said Lee.
Riedling said the money must be secured up front and it might be several years before the county really knows that the storm water program would cost.
Commissioner Thomas Givhan, who served on the committee working on the regulations, said there are a lot of opinions.
But he didn’t want the commission propose a document that won’t be approved by the legislative agencies.
Givhan said there must be a plan that allows the government to do the maintenance; otherwise, he said the residents would be coming back to government to solve the problems.
The proposals would only deal with new construction and Givhan said the county couldn’t rely upon subdivision associations to do the maintenance on ditches or retention basins.
Lee felt some of the cities already have been ways to handle development and subdivisions than the county and he didn’t want to have a document that would cause further division between the county and the municipalities.
In reality, Lee said the development is primarily in the cities due to the sewer services available and he was concerned if the county took in the revenue and then didn’t send it to the cities were all the work was being done.
Givhan said the projects need to be engineered and the county doesn’t have that service available.
He felt this was a wonderful opportunity for the implementation of a countywide drainage program. But without fees, it wouldn’t be possible.
Richard Miles, one of the largest developers in Bullitt County, said Shepherdsville and Mount Washington have had drainage and subdivision regulations for at least eight years.
That includes the requirement for engineering work on any developments.
He didn’t understand the drainage fee is he builds a retention basin in his development. He said they are zero maintenance and property owners are responsible for cutting the grass to the water’s edge.
For a recent development, Miles estimated the proposed plan would cost him $400,000 up front and that is something that simply can’t be added to price of the lots, especially in the current economic times.
“It’s so far out of the box,” said Miles, who develops in several surrounding counties and has not faced any similar impact charges.
Givhan said the commission did not want to hurt any of the developers. However, he said there is also a need for a unified drainage system and that the federal government is making these demands on local agencies.
The commission made no decisions on the draft proposal. No public hearings have been scheduled on the matter.
The next meeting of the Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission is set for Thursday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. in the courthouse annex. The public is invited to attend.