"They said that Burgin couldn't have a seat," Russell said.
Shawn Moore, executive director of the Greater Harrodsburg/Mercer County commission, said the need for P&Z in Burgin arose when the commission updated the county's comprehensive plan, a process that must be completed every five years.
Burgin has no land use ordinances and the Harrodsburg commission has no authority in Burgin, he said. Burgin's city government annexed property in the county and incorporated it into Burgin's city limits.
The commission wasn't notified and that impacts planning efforts, especially when extending water and sewer into the county, Moore said.
"They were making changes and not telling us what they changed," he said.
The commission asked Burgin's city government to appoint someone, but that person cannot sit on the commission until Burgin establishes land use regulations.
Once the city becomes active, it also will be eligible for grants and federal funding.
"I believe they want to do it," Moore said. "It will equal out development and protect property and property values."
Burgin, although a small town, is beginning to grow, Russell said. A subdivision was placed in the community, the city annexed a farm in 2004, and 32 acres at the old distillery are for sale.
The Greater Harrodsburg/Mercer County commission has agreed to help Burgin draft plans for its own P&Z office, she said.
Small but growing
"We'll always be a small town, but we want to grow," Russell said. "We want to do (planning and zoning) and do what's best for the people of Burgin."
At the last Greater Harrodsburg planning and zoning commission meeting, Moore presented the processes that Burgin's city government would have to complete before officially becoming part of the Greater Harrodsburg/Mercer County commission.
All of these actions are preliminary rumblings of a year-long process to establish land use regulations.
Burgin officials don't have any previous experience with P&Z so they will need a lot of input to guide them and help with preparing a land use map that "fits the character of Burgin," Moore said.
Moore said he anticipates holding several workshops and presentations to the Burgin committee reviewing planning and zoning for the city. It's beneficial for them to establish land use guidelines because "it levels the playing field," he said. "Everyone will be under the same set of rules."