Campbell County Planning Commission Ties on Tech School Zoning Request
|A close-up of the property at Highway AA and Carthage Road shows an overlay of the plot under consideration for a zone change from Agriculture 1 to Institutional.
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by Robin Gee
After five and a half hours of discussion, the Campbell County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last week ended with an unprecedented tie vote on a zoning change request. The application would allow for the establishment of a technical training school on unincorporated property near Carthage Road and the AA Highway.
As required by law, the commissioners voted twice on the issue. Both times the results were the same, tied at four to four. Campbell County Zoning Director Cindy minter noted that this was the first time she had seen a tie like this.
The question of approving or denying the zoning change request will now be submitted to the Tax Court for a final vote, without a recommendation from the commissioners.
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The initial project plan
David Martin, owner of Martin Solutions, LLC, requested to change zone from Agriculture 1 (A1) to Institutional (INST) to pave the way for the development of a private technical school to provide training on small-scale construction. scale and industrial equipment.
The unimproved land on this site is subdivided into 10 acre parcels. The school is offered on land owned by Martin that includes a 10-acre parcel and adjacent rights-of-way, bringing it to approximately 18.5 acres. The school itself would occupy about three acres. The surrounding area includes both agricultural and residential areas.
Earlier this year, Martin applied for a conditional use permit in the existing area but withdrew his application. His initial conceptual plan for the site included a 40-foot by 80-foot school building with three classrooms, two offices, a reception area, lobby, washrooms, and laundry room. The plan was also to include a pole barn building to house the outdoor training equipment and a parking lot of around 30 spaces.
RELATED: Tech Training School Offered for Area Along AA and Carthage Road
RELATED: Update: Technical School Conditional Use License Application Withdrawn
Good idea, bad location?
|At the start of the meeting, the commissioners and the public were invited to see the equipment that the students would learn to use in the proposed training center.
Neighbors had expressed concerns about noise and dust pollution, as well as traffic that would be caused by the school. About 40 people spoke at the planning and zoning meeting, with 12 people speaking for the movement and 28 against. Comments on Facebook were also allowed, and comments were split around 50-50.
Martin and those who spoke in favor of the project cited the need for light industrial training in the region and its potential to attract students and attract jobs. Several of those who spoke in favor of it had taken similar training or had sought it out and found it difficult to attain. They cited a wide variety of indoor and outdoor uses for light industry equipment in construction and manufacturing.
Many who spoke expressed their respect and friendship for Martin, a local employer well known in the community. They also agreed that a training school would be a good resource for Northern Kentucky. However, those who oppose it said they did not believe the location would be a safe place for school-caused traffic. Others said there were concerns about the scale of the project. The issue of sounds was also raised, with concerns about emergency alarms and other noises coming from the equipment. Some said they believed the facility would open the door to other developments and disrupt the rural nature of the community.
A commissioner noted during the discussion that it seemed that most of those present were in favor of a training center, that it was a good idea, but half felt that it was a bad location. Commissioners voiced concerns about noise and traffic, and were divided on whether the project fits into the overall plan for the area.
The vote and the next steps
Justin verst presented the motion for acceptance on behalf of the Campbell County Planning and Zoning Council and Michael williams seconded the motion. were also in favor Larry Barrow and CJ Peters. No votes against the request were Dennis bass, Sharon haynes, Roger mason and Mark Turner.
Minter explained that the zoning change request would go to the Tax Court without a recommendation. Yet even if the court approved the change, developers would be required to come up with a more detailed first-step plan addressing noise and light pollution issues and many of the concerns voiced by the public. At this point, the planning committee would have the opportunity to review and approve or reject the first stage plan.
The next step in the zoning change request will be a decision by the Tax Court. For agendas, minutes, and meetings, see the Campbell County Meeting Center webpage.