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A clearly agitated John Wayne Conway spoke out strongly last Tuesday night about the way the joint county-city comprehensive plan update is being conducted.
The judge-executive said he remains frustrated that there seems to be no apparent movement to have property on each side of US 127 near the Bluegrass Parkway designated for future industrial use by the committee performing the update.
“I am not satisfied with the direction this is going,” Conway said. “We’re paying a great deal of money for this update, and if it’s going to be left the same, what’s the point?
The plan, which was put in place in 2003, was supposed to be updated in 2008 but that didn’t happen. Last year, the fiscal court and city council agreed to spend $25,000 each to have Bluegrass Area Development District update the plan, which must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission before it’s put in place.
The old plan makes no mention of the land near the Parkway, which is roundly considered a prime location for a future industrial park and was plumbed for water and sewer several years ago.
The updated plan can’t change zoning there from its current commercial status to industrial. Only the Planning and Zoning Commission can do that.
But designating the area for future industrial use would make changing the zoning change much less complicated for the commission and the property owners there.
Magistrate Buddy Sims is on the update committee and said he shares Conway’s frustration. He said designating that area for future industrial use has to be done if Anderson County is going to attract outside businesses.
“If someone came to this area and asked for a map of industrial-zoned property, that land wouldn’t even show up because it’s zoned commercial,” Sims said.
Sims said he expects the issue to be worked out when the committee meets again Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
“But I’ve heard that in the past,” he said.
Conway said he plans to attend.
“I’m going to see just how far this goes and then make a recommendation to the court,” he said.