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Restaurants, Strip Center Planned in Independence; Blasting Concerns Addressed

Local restaurant operator Space Cowboys has plans for a tract of land in a growing commercial area in Independence.

Former council member Bill Aseere is a partner at Space Cowboys and presented his plans this week at the city council meeting.

Aseere said that the land, located behind the existing Buffalo Wild Wings and Walgreens locations, had twice before been targeted by developers, but the plans never came to fruition.

Aseere said that his group wants to move forward because they love Independence and want to see good things happen there.

The plans, Aseere said, include two restaurants book-ending a multi-use retail strip center that would be leased out. It could be open by next summer, he said, and there is already lots of interest.

The restaurants would each have drive-throughs, which could determine the approval process moving forward. 

The area in question is zoned as planned unit development (PUD), a designation established to increase walkability there. 

City Administrator Chris Moriconi, who was mayor in 2006 and 2007 when the zoning designation was determined, said that he believes the current proposed design adds to the original intention because it gives people more places to walk to.

Council members agreed and determined that the way the drive-throughs are planned would not be a detriment to the area in terms of traffic or noise. Council voted unanimously to consider the proposal a minor change, which allows it to proceed to the Kenton County planning commission for further consideration, rather than being required to start over.

In other business, some residents have complained about blasting noise. The Van Trust Company has been working on its site, and encountered extra rock in the area and applied to be able to blast it.

Moriconi said that the blasting started the week of September 17 and is expected to continue through November 5. 

The company, Moriconi said, agreed only to blast on weekdays within the hours of noon to 5 p.m., with most activity happening between 3 and 4 except on Fridays when it will be heaviest between noon and 1.

Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Photo: Bill Aseere talks to Independence city council (screen shot from TBNK coverage of meeting)