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P&Z to host open house

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by WILLIAM B. CARROLL, Spencer Magnet Editor

The Taylorsville-Spencer County Joint Planning and Zoning Commission is hosting an open house Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m on a proposed zoning regulations update. Planning and Zoning Administrator Julie Sweazy said that the update is an attempt to simplify the current regulations, which have become quite voluminous with numerous amendments and alterations being added over the years.
Zoning regulations and zone specific maps were first created in 1973 and the current regulations date from 1992 with amendments and modifications having been added to the document as changes were warranted. Sweazy said that major updates were made in 2006 and 2010, with the later update being repealed by Spencer County Fiscal Court shortly after approval.
“We had a lot of business owners who were concerned that we were taking away certain things from them,” Sweazy said.
In order to ensure citizens have ample opportunity to review the proposed new regulations, planning and zoning officials have been spreading the word about Thursday’s open house.
“We want everyone who lives in the community to come and look at the new regulations,” Sweazy said. “We don’t want anyone to be surprised about what is here.”
Sweazy said that the open house is not the only time people can come and look at the regulations.
“We have them available online at our website and people can come by the office during normal business hours and look at them as well,” Sweazy said. “We also want feedback, if people don’t like something or if they want to suggest changes, we want them to tell us. If we missed something we want to know about it.”
Sweazy said that the new rules were drafted in part with the help of land use attorney Tim Butler of Bardstown.
“He worked with us to eliminate unnecessary portions and help to make things make sense,” Sweazy said.
Sweazy said that part of the need for new regulations is that the old ones had become quite confusing.
“The current regulations have been amended so many times that we have some parts that contradict other parts and portions that just do not make sense,” she said. “He (Butler) has helped reorganize items so that it (regulations) are easier to use.”
A cursory review of the new regulations shows a document quite a bit shorter than the old rules. Portions have been eliminated and definitions have been simplified. In the current code nearly every business imaginable is outlined in specific detail. The news rules eliminate this litany of businesses in favor of definitions of business types.
“We are trying to focus more on the size of the building as opposed to what you can do with the building,” Sweazy said.
Sweazy said that the open house is the first step in the process which may include some rewrites after the initial public comment period. Afterwards the document will be taken before the Planning and Zoning Commission, where it again will be subjected to public comment before being submitted to the Spencer County Fiscal Court.
“It always seems to be an election year when we try to do these rewrites but we want to make people aware of the possible changes and get them involved,” she said.