Comprehensive plan set for update

Published 8:09 am Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The months-long process to update Winchester and Clark County’s comprehensive plan has already begun.

When completed, the document will set guidelines for development within the city and county for the next 20 years, Director of Planning and Community Development Robert Jeffries said.

“I like to call it a road map for the community,” he said. “It’s a document that’ll help form ordinances in the future. If you want more or less regulations, this will guide that.”

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The comprehensive plan is scheduled to be updated every five years, he said, and plays a key role in zoning requests. Those requests can be approved or denied based on whether the request and proposed land use is in accordance with the comprehensive plan, he said.

“If that zone change is not in line with the comprehensive plan, it likely would not be approved,” he said.

Two public input meetings are scheduled later this month solely to gather public input for things to add, remove or alter with the plan. The first will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Clark County Public Library. The second will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at Hall’s on the River.

Jeffries said people do not have to stay for the full meeting or be there at the beginning to offer their suggestions.

“It’s important to get that input early so we can think about how to incorporate it,” he said. “We want to be able to dream big, but make sure it’s achievable.”

Jeffries said he expects this year’s review to include several changes.

“(The plan) can be re-adopted,” he said. “The conversations I’ve had … it it’s time for it to be updated significantly. I think there are some good goals in it but they need to be expanded. I do expect it to be a significant update.”

The update committee has already retained Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group, which is based in Louisville and Indianapolis, to serve as a consultant for the process, Jeffries said. The firm recently helped officials in Richmond update the comprehensive plan there, he said.

The committee, with Eddie Gilkison as chairman, consists of Steve Berryman, Christie Bush, Nick Comer, Mike Flynn, Deborah Garrison, Sarah Glenn, Dale Gough, Tim Green, Scott Lockard, Mark Mayer, Paul Merritt, William Newell, Cherie Sibley and Craig Stotts. Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner and Clark County Judge-Executive each appointed seven members and agreed on a joint appointment for chairman, Jeffries said.

All committee meetings are open to the public, but public comment will only be allowed during the two meetings later this month, he said.

For more information about the plan or the meetings, call 744-7019.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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