Rezoning could bring hundreds of jobs to LJ

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By Stephen Thomas


Staff Writer

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Two potential zoning changes could bring hundreds of new jobs to Bullitt County.

The Joint Planning and Zoning Commission gave two favorable recommendations for zoning changes from Agricultural to IL Light Industrial during its November meeting.

Over 200 acres of land owned by J. Porter and Associates could be rezoned in Lebanon Junction. The property is located in an area between Interstate 65 and the CSX railroad line, south of Plaza Park Boulevard and extending to the Rolling Fork River.

Jack Porter, representing the owners, said the expansion of warehouses along Interstate 65 showed promise for another successful facility at the site.

"We've had some people express interest in it," he said.

Porter said a tentative plan was laid out to see how much industrial space would fit along with both green space and stream reserve. He said the area could potentially include warehouses that would create an estimated 500 new jobs.

With the majority of the property situated within the Rolling Fork flood plain, Porter said the property would need to be mitigated.

Steve Scott, with Mendell, Scott and Associates Engineering, said mitigation would take place with resources on the property. He said no additional landfill would be brought in unless absolutely necessary.

Scott mentioned that a flood plain basin would be created to collect storm water. He said the property's design would also allow storm water to drain toward streams and railroad tracks.

Scott said he spoke with Lebanon Junction city engineer Dave Derrick about adding a pump station on the property to tie in with the city's system.

"There will be basically no flood impact at all," Scott said.

Porter mentioned S. Poplar Street would be redesigned in the future as part of the project in coincidence with the potential traffic flow to the warehouses.

"This will be a tastefully done project," said Porter. It will benefit the area. The traffic will be where the traffic already is."

Porter said the Louisville Water Company would likely supply a public water main for the property but the plan was still uncertain.

Another 119 acres of land located off of Cedar Grove Road behind Love's Truck Stop received a favorable rezoning recommendation.

Keith Brown, representing landowners BDHM, Inc., noted that the surrounding area had become one of the county's industrialized areas, mentioning neighboring companies such as Gordon Food Services and Zappos.com.

"We do not believe the current zoning is really appropriate here," said Brown. "We are in clearly a light industrial area."

Brown added that the group went to the Shepherdsville City Council to discuss the possibility of annexing a portion of the property.

Brad Armstrong, also representing BDHM, said roughly two-thirds of the property was located within the Salt River flood plain. He said a 50-foot-wide conservation easement had been established along the river.

According to Armstrong, current plans would not allow building within 100 feet of the river. He mentioned with the flood way the building distance would likely be 250 feet.

The Commission approved a favorable rezoning recommendation with a stipulation that any lighting located on the property would face away from the direction of I-65.

In other notes:

- The Commission approved two neighboring rezoning requests in Mount Washington from R-2 to R-3 Residential.

Owners Roy and Shirley Cornell, with 83.9 acres, and Stout Brothers Farms, 26.3 acres, requested the rezoning primarily to receive 30-foot front yards rather than 40-foot.

The properties are located between Highway 31E and Stringer Lane. They adjoin the Barlow Homes property that has an R-3 zoning change pending.

Attorney John Wooldridge, representing the owners, said the reason for the request was to allow for more backyard area. He said the space allotment would help even houses along less than level land.

On the Cornell property, Wooldridge said houses would all be brick majority and still meet a minimum of 1,500 to 1,700 square feet with two-car garages. The Stout property would include a 1,700 square foot minimum.

All lots would include a minimum of 9,000 square feet with 75-foot building line minimum width.

Neighboring residents stated concerns of patio homes and apartments being included on the properties due to the zoning change. Both properties were given a favorable recommendation with the stipulation of no patio homes or apartments allowed on the properties.

Other stipulations included a 10-foot easement and homes would be all brick, rock or stone excluding eaves, windows, doors and trim.

- A favorable recommendation of a zoning change from R-2 to R-3 Residential was approved for 53 lots in the Fernwood Acres subdivision located off of Lloyd Lane in Mount Washington.

Representing All County Realty, LLC Jack Porter said current R-2 setbacks from roadways were 15 feet except for homes with attached garages.

"You can only have a 45-foot house if a garage is on the side," he said. "It's really a struggle to fit houses here. The houses just don't fit. To me a brick wall is a brick wall as long as it's part of somebody's home."

Subdivision residents spoke at the meeting stating they were not against the building and were pleased with the houses but concerned that new houses could be placed too close to their own.

The recommendation included a stipulation that no multi-family dwellings or patio homes would be allowed.

- A favorable rezoning recommendation from Agriculture to B-2 Central Business was given to a 100'x300' property owned by Steve and Stacy Ogle along Highway 434 next to Rainbow Liquors.

The front portion of the property is within Lebanon Junction city limits.

The comprehensive plan included a town center or junction mixed.