Stuff rezoning request tabled

Before an overflowing room of concerned residents Tuesday, planning officials tabled a request by Stuff Recycling to rezone an adjacent parcel of land.

The Winchester-Clark County Planning Commission was scheduled to have a public hearing on the rezoning request Tuesday night, but interim commission attorney William Dykeman recommended it be tabled until the Board of Adjustments can make its ruling.

In 2012, the Board grandfathered the Stuff property into a B-4 business zone, rather than industrial, and residents have questioned that decision in recent weeks. The Board of Adjustments has the item on the agenda for its meeting today.

Dykeman also cited a letter he received from Clark County Attorney Brian Thomas, in which Thomas said he believed Stuff is in violation of the 2012 decision by expanding its operations.

“My recommendation … is that this matter is tabled until after the Board of Adjustment’s decision,” Dykeman said. “I think for several reasons it’s appropriate.”

The matter was not opened for public discussion as the only issue was whether to continue the hearing, he said.

“(The commissioners) asked for my legal opinion. I gave it,” Dykeman said. “The Board of Adjustments made the decision. It’s under their auspices to make a determination if it was grandfathered in.”

The commissioners then voted unanimously to table its hearing.

The increasingly loud crowd then started filing out, lobbing comments at the commissioners.

“We’re so happy you let everyone come down here for nothing,” one man said to loud applause.

“How do y’all get this job?” another said.

In recent weeks, and in the wake of a June fire at Stuff which lasted three days, residents surrounding the property have been asking questions about the business and its operations. Stuff owner Jerry Joiner told the Clark County Fiscal Court in August the company wanted to purchase about 12.5 acres on Clintonville Road for storage, parking and buffer space.

The 2012 decision by the Board of Adjustment allowed Stuff to continue operating as a metal recycling yard provided it not expand its operations beyond its boundaries as they were in 2005.

In his letter, Thomas said he believed Stuff is in violation of the 2012 decision, current planning and zoning laws and the county property maintenance code.

Thomas also said the nature of the business changed from an automotive repair and body shop to part of the recycling business.

“Finally, I believe that any decision of the rezoning of the Clintonville Road property should be tabled until the other issues are resolved,” Thomas wrote. “I understand that I have no standing to advise matters currently pending before the Planning and Zoning office but wanted to let you know our legal position on these matters.”