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Boone Co. Hears from Residents on Forthcoming Development Projects

An overflow crowd came to address the Boone County fiscal court last week as the county government considered a pair of land-use items on the agenda.

The first item would be a zoning map amendment related to a new subdivision at 9696 Camp Ernst Road.

The 45-acre site is being developed by Great Properties Inc. as Smoky Acres. There would be 32 lots.

The map amendment, if approved later, would change the zoning from Agricultural-1 (A-1) to Rural Suburban Estates (RSE).

Mike Schwartz, a planner with the county, said that 9 percent of the project is zoned RSE, and 91 percent is zoned A-1.  

There is 115 feet of road front on Camp Ernst Road, which will require sidewalks on one side in the subdivision.

The planning commission recommended unanimous approval with three conditions. Judge/Executive Gary Moore asked about water and how they were going to manage that, and Schwartz said that there will be three detention ponds which will regulate the storm water.

Ben Mathis, who lives on the west side of the property, said that he is not against development, but his concern is that when the Florence bypass is finally ready to be built, making Camp Ernst less of a thoroughfare, all the property will be bought up and the land that the county wanted to reserve for that road won't be available.

"There are two more major developments in that area coming at you," he told the fiscal court. Mathis said that they could keep allowing the developments to go on, but if someone doesn't step up, the land will be gone.

He said that he was concerned with safety, especially with all the new traffic that will be generated by the developments.

After discussion, Judge Moore said the second reading on the ordinance will be on March 23.

A project on Graves Road also prompted discussion.  

At the previous fiscal court meeting, plans were unveiled that showed how the county was going to divide up 2,500 acres of land around the new Graves Road and the exit on I-275.  

The areas were divided into residential, business park, industrial, and commercial.

At this meeting, commissioners listened to the first reading of an ordinance approving the land-use study as a plan.  

Several families came to speak about this, along with their lawyers. 

Most were not happy about the designation of the part of the plan that includes their land, preferring a business park designation instead of industrial because they believed that it would permit a wider variety of enterprises.

Judge Moore noted the concerns and said that the fiscal court could postpone a second reading, where the plan would be approved, but he asked everyone involved to work together on addressing their issues.

In other business, an agreement between the Boone County Fiscal Court and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for upgrades in materials for the Graves road interchange in the amount of $145,718, was approved. This includes 44 lighting and signal poles in a black finish, and a 10-ft. wide multiuse path, instead of a 6-ft. wide sidewalk, which will extend the 2-mile length of the project.

The fiscal court plans to use $200,000 in federal funds to assist residents who have fallen behind on utility bills.

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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