Simpson brought up objections by residents which included concerns about increased traffic the development would bring, while Gullette emphasized the fact that U.S. 68 will be extended into a four-lane highway by the time the development would be completed in seven years. Gullette also pointed out that infrastructure such as water and sewer will be available for the development. There is a signed water agreement between Jessamine South Elkhorn Water District and the city of Wilmore, he said, which the state Public Service Commission is expected to sign shortly.
In addition to an impact fee of $3,000 per house to be paid to the city by the developer, the incentive package includes a community center and a new fire station, Gullette said.
He added that with residences ranging from $300,000 to multi-million dollar homes and a $3 million clubhouse, the development would bring $711,000 per year in property taxes to Wilmore - enough to enable Wilmore to increase its police patrol. He also emphasized the prestige that such a golf course would bring to Jessamine County.
"A Jack Nicklaus golf course is the epitome of golf courses worldwide," he said.
But Simpson countered, saying that the development did not conform with the county's comprehensive plan.
"This is the most important zoning case in the last 20 years in Jessamine County," he said. "If you approve this plan, how could you possibly control growth then?" he asked planners.
He reminded them that Wilmore had already passed an intent to annex ordinance twice in favor of the development and then voted it down.
"It was so flagrantly against the law that they had to rescind it, and then did it again."
Simpson called the development "spot zoning."
"Will you reward them with their ability to play hopscotch with your planning and zoning?" he asked.
In the end, planners voted to recommend rejection of the matter to the Wilmore City Council, which will make the final decision when the development comes before the Council.