Comprehensive plan takes step forward

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By Zach Osowski

The comprehensive plan is making the rounds of the various local governments on its way to passage.

Despite receiving approval from the planning and zoning committee in May, the plan must now receive approval from the city councils of La Grange, Pewee Valley and Crestwood – and Fiscal Court – before it becomes official.

The plan cleared the first hurdle Aug. 5, when Pewee Valley approved the plan during their monthly meeting.

On Aug. 6, Fiscal Court had a first reading for the second time on the plan. The court originally met July 16 to hear the plan for the first time but did not assign an ordinance number to it at that time. To make sure everything was done correctly, Judge-Executive David Voegele decided to hold a second first reading.

During discussion last week, Magistrate J.D. Sparks said he had several issues with the comprehensive plan and wanted to see some changes.

This opened the door for debate about what role Fiscal Court actually has, as far as shaping the plan. County attorney John Carter said creating the plan is the burden of the planning and zoning committee; Fiscal Court’s role vote to approve it or not approve it.

“There is no authority for Fiscal Court to adopt a comprehensive plan by ordinance; that’s a function of the planning commission,” Carter said. “The Fiscal Court can only approve the goals and objectives of the plan.”

This plan is part of the Oldham 2020 initiative, initiated in 2000. Every five years, the planning and zoning committee is charged with creating and getting approval for a new plan for Oldham County. The P&Z met with several agencies and held public meetings to get an idea about where the county should be 15-20 years from now.

The plan simply outlines areas in which the P&Z would like to see the county improve or achieve goals.

“The comprehensive plan is just that; it’s a plan,” said Kevin Jeffries, chair of the planning and zoning committee. “We’re required to make it, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Carter said if Fiscal Court made amendments to the plan, planning and zoning would have to start its process over.

“If you make an amendment these folks are going to have to go back through their whole process of having hearings to accommodate the goals and objectives that have been changed by Fiscal Court,” Carter said.

Jim Urban, director of Oldham County planning and development services, pointed out to the magistrates that this plan does not change anything. And most importantly to several people who spoke at the meeting, it doesn’t change the current zoning.

“This is simply a look down the road,” Urban said.

New this year is a land use map which shows a map of the county, color coordinated based on what type of zoning that piece of property could have in the future. It also gives detailed suggestions as to what type of zoning the land could have if someone wanted to change it and what type of zoning would be permissible.

The plan will have a second reading before the court on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 2 p.m. and a vote is expected.

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