City OKs Habitat plan for 9 homes

Published 11:25 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

On the heels of finishing its latest Clark County home, Habitat for Humanity officials announced even bigger plans.

Tuesday night, the Winchester Board of Commissioners donated two and a half acres on Cook Avenue, on which Habitat hopes to build nine single-family homes.

The property is a former industrial site which has already been cleaned up, said Russ Barclay, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark Counties.

At one point, the property was rezoned for residential use and plans were drawn to build nine homes and a street to connect Cook and Goldie avenues, he said. The subdivision, though, was never built.

There are already water and sewer lines in the general area, Barclay said. 

The commissioners voted unanimously to donate the property, which has been maintained by the city for several years, to Habitat. 

The organization is working on a similar development in Berea.

Wednesday, Barclay told the Clark County Fiscal Court it would take about 18 months to two years to build the necessary infrastructure for the development.

“At that point, the nine houses could be built within two years,” he said, depending on partners and fundraising.

One of the biggest parts of the project will be building the street to connect the two dead-end streets.

“That would be a major component of this project,” Winchester City Manager Matt Belcher said.

Habitat also asked for “future considerations” as part of the letter of intent, which Belcher said could include community development block grants and possibly using the property as the city’s match.

“We don’t know yet,” he said.

“I think this is a great project,” Commissioner Rick Beach said. “We’ve been trying different things on the north end and this would be a great continuation” of that.

Commissioner Shannon Cox, who is also a Habitat board member, made the motion, which was approved unanimously.

“We look forward to this opportunity,” Barclay said.

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 fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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