Planning commission approves rezoning of property | News

The Paducah Planning Commission on Monday approved a resolution to rezone 4.6 acres of land recently annexed to a commercial district.

The area at 185 Lion’s Den Lane was listed as R1 and in McCracken County until March 21, when the Paducah City Commission approved annexation.

The planning commission also passed a motion — influenced by vocal county residents — to ban liquor sales and electronic signage, with commercial lighting and speaker panels facing away from residences.

Automotive-related businesses, bars and taverns are also restricted in the new B1 area. The resolution allows construction additions encroaching on the adjacent county’s zoning.

Commissioner Joshua Sommer said a B1 rezoning was better suited to Tenacity Fitness gym owner Nicole Griffin, who bought the property in December 2021 and applied for annexation.

“I spoke with a neighbor about my concerns because the neighborhood was quiet. The exact reason we chose this (area) was that we wanted to ensure a safe environment for parents to drop off their children at our facility,” Griffin told county commissioners and residents in attendance Monday.

Griffin, who competed on the reality show American Ninja Warrior, branded his gym the same way. Many of her clients are children and teenagers.

Some have spoken out in favor of community growth potentially spurred by Griffin’s investment.

Neighborhood resident Tim Meadows said Griffin’s gym was beneficial for his six-year-old daughter and her other children.

“I used to go to the gym there which was in the same place. I wanted to bring my daughter, but she was out of shape,” Meadows said. “Now this place has already been transformed.”

County residents in attendance were primarily concerned about unimpeded commercial access if Griffin’s gymnasium was moved or closed.

McCracken County Planning and Zoning Administrator Greg Cannon recommended residential zoning status while permitting Tenacity Fitness as an offending use.

“The definition of a B1 area is to provide convenient shopping areas, and that very definition shows that’s inappropriate,” Cannon said. “It is 4.6 acres in the middle of four housing estates – this property should be zoned R2 or R4… which helps protect the surrounding housing estates.

“I don’t think anyone has a problem with your gym,” Cannon told Griffin, “but all gyms have failed. If yours fails, or you decide to close…a B1 area the opens. We are in the countryside; we want to be away from the city. We can see the stars at night.

Sharon New, a county resident, said the lighting in the gymnasium had already seemed intrusive at night. Others expressed concerns about a possible increase in property taxes and an increase in car wrecks.

The next planning commission meeting is at 5:30 p.m. on May 2.

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