Zone change request meets opposition

November 20, 2003|LIZ MAPLES

A proposed commercial center behind Piggly Wiggly on Lexington Avenue would destroy the entrance way to Danville, overburden an already crowded roadway and keep shoppers from downtown, opponents of the center said at a zone change hearing Wednesday.

Developers said that the 15-acre center would agree with the city's future plans for the land.

The Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission listened to both sides and will make a decision about whether to change the property's zoning from agriculture to highway commercial at 9 a.m. Jan. 21.

The property is part of the estate of the late Dr. Charles Caldwell. The owner is Nancy Caldwell and the developers are Red Elephant LLC, owned by Jeff Jones, a Danville attorney, and Michael Smith, a Danville businessman and Garrard County resident.

Neighbors of the land, the Scutchfields, the Mulhollands and the Buxes, have hired an attorney to oppose the development.

Opponents packed the mid-morning meeting. Resident Bunny Scutchfield, who lives near the property, was outside of the room with a color-coded map on an easel.


"If our town is serious about downtown development, why encourage commercial development on the outskirts?" she said.

Scutchfield said that Greenleaf Shopping Center, across the street from the proposed development, is half-vacant and that another piece of commercial property next to it is an empty lot.

The land is in the county, but is surrounded, like an island, on all sides by the city. It couldn't be annexed because it is part of an agriculture district. The developers requested that the 15 acres be removed from the district, and Jones said they are considering requesting annexation.

Usually property is annexed before a zone change to commercial is requested, P&Z Director Paula Bary said today.

The future land use map, a 20-year plan for land in the county, shows that area as agriculture. The city's future land use map shows the property as commercial.

Bary said that P&Z would have to look at the county map because the property is now in the county.

Local attorney Ephraim Helton, who spoke as a resident, said that the development was "ill conceived and inappropriate."

Some residents there fear that if the 15 acres is rezoned that would pave the way for more land to be zoned commercial, that the noise and lights the commercial buildings would attract would make the neighborhoods unattractive.

Scutchfield said that the entrance to Danville on Ky. 34, lined with pastures and homes, would be destroyed by the shopping center.

Representatives of the Country Club said that they already have water problems from the commercial developments that surround the golf course and said they hope the development would not make it worse.

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