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Commission OKs revised plan for future growth

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By Zach Osowski

Oldham County’s Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday unanimously approved a document that will determine future development and goals in the county.

The comprehensive plan, which has to be revised and approved every five years, lays the groundwork for how future areas of development will be handled.

It also spells out specific goals and objectives for the county in the future.

After numerous meetings by the commission’s study review committee which garnered significant public input, no one commented on the plan at Tuesday’s meeting.

Commission chair, Kevin Jeffries, said he hoped the lack of attendance at the public hearing is a sign residents are happy with the final draft.

“I hope this shows this is something the county can be proud of,” Jeffries said.

The new plan spells out future goals for the county in six categories: land use; transportation; community facilities and services; environment; government; and business and industry.

New this year is a future land use map, which breaks down new developments into 13 different options ranging from rural land to commercial buildings.

Brian Davis, assistant director for Oldham County Planning and Development Services, said the map provides options for residents considering building without stripping them of their existing rights.

He said the map also provides clear guidelines for the commission in future decisions about building permits.

Every parcel of land in Oldham County now has an assignment as far as what type of land it is zoned for, Davis said.

But, he clarified, the map doesn’t change the existing zoning rules. It simply clarifies what category each parcel falls under, he said.

One item of debate during previous public meetings was accessory dwelling units, which are separate living quarters built either inside a single-family house or on the same grounds.

ADUs have become increasingly popular as Baby Boomers move in with their grown children or as children come back from college to live with their parents.

The question of how to zone these units is a topic Davis said will need to be addressed eventually.

In the revised comprehensive plan, the ADU language was placed in a future considerations chapter identifying the units as an issue the commission is getting increased questions about.

The new plan does not change how they are currently zoned.

“It’s not establishing any kind of regulation of the accessory dwelling units,” Davis said. “It’s just saying we need to look at this more and revisit it in the future.”

The comprehensive plan will now go to Oldham County Fiscal Court and the city councils of Crestwood, La Grange and Pewee Valley for their approval.

Any city that does not approve the comprehensive plan will have to draft and present its document.

Email us about this story at: zach@oldhamera.com.