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Developer, Church at Odds Over Proposed Residential Community in Hebron

This story has been updated.

A proposed development in Hebron is causing friction between a developer and a nearby church.

The property was once home to a Boone County Public Library branch and now Brad Trauth and Trauth Property Group hopes to build rental units on the site.

Representatives of the nearby Hebron Baptist Church object, arguing that a mixed-use development with residential units and a professional office building in that zone goes against the county's comprehensive plan which calls for commercial, office, and retail uses, according to the C-2 zoning regulations. 

That zoning identifies 35 principally permitted uses, but residential is not one of them. 

Multifamily and/or attached dwelling units can only be a conditional use in this zone if "it is an integral and subordinate function of a permitted commercial use, professional or personal service," or if it "will not detract from the utilization of compact, multipurpose and pedestrian oriented commerce center." 

The C-2 zone also requires that uses in this zone be consistent with the comprehensive plan, which discourages residential, the church argues.

Brad Trauth, who was at the meeting, said that he can only build these rental town homes in a mixed-use zone, a multi-family zone, or a commercial zone where multi-family is a conditional use. Trauth argues that the area's zoning has an overlay that encourages multi-use development including residential. Trauth also said that a revised development plan places the residences farther from the church property.

Upon presenting that revised plan to the Boone County Planning & Zoning Commission, the updated development proposal included 18 multi-family units and church representatives argue that it further reduces green space. The church also claims that the plan encourages parking in its lot.

A new road would create a confusing intersection and traffic hazards, according to the church representatives, and the new sidewalk dumps onto church property, encouraging trespassing, they said.

Representatives from the Trauth company say the comprehensive plan is defined in KRS 100.183 as a guide for public and private actions. They say it is not a law, but a guide. 

The planning commission heard the request but in an unusual move, did not issue a recommendation.

That leaves the decision with the Boone County fiscal court.

Judge/Executive Gary Moore allowed both sides to present their case at a recent meeting and also said that there would be time at the next meeting for further discussion.

If the fiscal court is to take action, it would require two readings of an ordinance before the January 4 deadline. If no action is taken, the issue dies automatically.

More information is expected on November 23, but nothing new that was not presented to the planning commission can be presented.

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor