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City commission reverses vote on Goodlett rezoning request

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By Mallory Bilger

Last October, the Taylorsville City Commission denied local business owner Stephen “Steve” Goodlett’s request to rezone his properties at 408 and 410 Garrard Street from residential to commercial despite the fact that numerous other properties in that area were already zoned for commercial use.
The Commission held a special meeting Feb. 25 to again address Goodlett’s request, which included rezoning the property from R-2 multi-family residential to B-2 commercial. The lots are adjacent to one another and each has a home on it. According to an October 2013 Spencer Magnet article, the Commission denied the request on the grounds that there was a lack of evidence regarding how the zoning change would effect the levee — also known as the floodwall, the proposed blue bridge project and the development plan. Commissioners Kathy Spears and Ellen Redmon voted to grant the request, while Mayor Don Pay, commissioner Jack Proctor and commissioner Beverly Ingram voted against the request, causing it to be denied. The same proposal went before the Taylorsville-Spencer County Joint Planning and Zoning Commission in August 2013 and was granted unanimously. According to minutes of that planning and zoning meeting, the request was granted because it fit within the county’s comprehensive plan and was in agreement with current zoning in that area.
Goodlett confirmed Monday afternoon that he had filed suit against the city but the case wouldn’t need to go in front of a judge now because the commission met and changed its vote. Attorney Charlie Tichenor represented Goodlett’s case to the city.
“It actually didn’t go in front of a judge. Charlie thought it’d be better to try and see if they wanted to negotiate before bringing it in front of a judge. He thought the judge would send it back to the city for a second hearing,” Goodlett said.
Tichenor presented his findings to the commission at the Feb. 25, including that the property was not part of the levee’s retention basin. Tichenor’s presentation included numerous maps that showed property boundaries. Some of the commission’s initial concerns included that any changes Goodlett made to his property could hinder the levee.
“(The property) is fully owned by my client and none of the retention basin is included in that,” Tichenor told the commission.
Other concerns addressed by the commission in 2013 included that Goodlett lacked a detailed plan for how his property would be used in the future and that rezoning the property might somehow affect the proposed project to rebuild the blue bridge on Ky. 55 which crosses the Salt River.
Tichenor maintained that Goodlett has been clear about his plans for the property, which include continuing to rent the existing house and turning the brick home into an office. He said his research showed that the bridge would be built directly east of its current location.
“Therefore, that’s not really a major concern,” Tichenor said.
Spencer County Levee and Drainage Commission member Bobby Smith was at the meeting and said he felt Goodlett’s request was valid.
“In essence, I agree with what he said,” Smith said of Tichenor’s presentation. “He’s got every right to ask for B-2 zoning.”
Pay — who previously voted against granting the request — said his questions were answered by Tichenor’s presentation.
“As far as I’m concerned, these issues have been satisfied,” Pay said.
Goodlett said when he initially filed for the rezoning request he never imagined the issue would take months to resolve. He said he had spend around $3,000 extra fighting for a zone change that he believes is completely fitting for the area.
“They had no right at all to refuse my zoning,” he said. “If I’d known all this I would have never, ever brought these properties.”
Spears made a motion to grant Goodlett’s request, stating that the request appropriate because other properties in that area are zoned B-2. The motion passed with all commissioners voting in favor except Proctor, who was absent. City Attorney Dudley Dale said the request would have to be drawn up as an ordinance and voted upon by the commission before the request was officially granted. That ordinance had not yet come before the commission as of press time Tuesday.
“The only thing they’ve done is make me gun-shy from purchasing property within the city limits,” Goodlett said.