Cash Creek residents ask Stanford City Council for relief from obstructed views, speeders

Published 10:41 am Thursday, July 25, 2019

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STANFORD — Cash Creek Estates situated off Metker Trail has for many years been a quiet, residential community.

That has not changed. However, many homeowners have had growing concerns over an obstructed roadway, an increase in the volume of traffic and the continued increase in the speed of traffic.

Jerry Pyle, speaking on behalf of several Cash Creek residents, brought those concerns before the Stanford City Council at its July meeting. Before stepping to the podium to address the council, Pyle shared a picture he took while sitting at the stop sign at the corner of Kid’s Fort Trail and Metker Trail the day of the meeting.

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“We have a problem up there when we come to the corner of Kid’s Fort Trail and Metker Trail,” he began. “On Metker Trail, we’ve got the Depot Restaurant, we have the hospital, we have the extension office and we also have the pharmacy. When you come up to that corner, if you look at the picture, you’re blinded from anything that comes from the right side because of the growth that’s there.”

But there was something unseen in the picture shared with the council that Pyle pointed out to demonstrate the severity of the obstructed view complaint.

“If you look at that picture, you will not see the black pickup that is there. I didn’t plan that, he just happened to come along as I was taking the picture. There is a black pickup in that picture, but you can’t see it. That’s what we run into every time,” said Pyle, who lives on Vista Court.

The question was posed by the council as to whether the property where the overgrowth was was privately owned or a city right-of-way. Councilwoman Peggy Hester said that shouldn’t make a difference.

“It still needs to be cleaned up no matter if its private property or city right-of-way,” she said. “Even if it’s privately owned, they have a responsibility. I know it is my responsibility to keep the city right-of-way in front of my house mowed.”

Councilman Ronnie Deatherage told Pyle and other Cash Creek residents in attendance that this was not the first time the council had heard this concern.

“This has been brought up before,” he said. “This has been brought up before, Jerry, and not just because of the bushes but also the trash that’s been there. We’ve done a better job about getting out there and picking up the trash. I think the street department was out there this week and they cut some of this down but they obviously didn’t get this big bush.”

Mayor Scottie Ernst said that he’d been out to Cash Creek many times and had had the street department doing work, but that he’d “not been satisfied with how far he was cutting it back” and had sent him out there again.

“I didn’t realize you were talking about all of this,” Ernst told Pyle. “I told him to cut it back to the utility pole and to cut back a tree. He went out there and his saw broke and then he has been on vacation. I’m not making excuses just letting you know what happened. So you all are pretty much wanting all of that taken away?”

“Pretty much all of it,” Pyle replied.

Ernst told the Cash Creek residents that he would speak to code enforcement about correcting the issue.

Before he left the podium, Pyle also spoke of another hindrance to view when pulling out of Kid’s Fort Trail.

“You’ve got that problem and then you’ve got that hill to the left. I know there’s nothing you can do about that but, by the time you look back and forth, you’re pulling out in front of somebody. I’ve done that several times,” he said. “Anybody that’s been on that road, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There is a lot of traffic on Metker Trail and the traffic moves pretty fast through there and it is a regular problem for us in that community.”

Pyle’s mention of the traffic prompted Councilman Dr. Naren James, who lives on Vista Court, to expand on the citizens’ concerns.

“The speeding problem on Metker is still an issue,” he said. “Even if you resolve this and you create better visual, speed is still a problem because by the time you look right, look left people are coming so fast up there. Everybody thinks they are an ambulance up there to the hospital, I guess. I don’t know if the police chief has anything to say about this, but I think more enforcement maybe would help.”

Pyle said putting up speed limit signs might help the situation. While not currently marked, the speed limit in the Cash Creek neighborhood is 25 miles per hour, which is the same throughout the city.

“Maybe a sign would at least help remind them of the speed limit,” James said. “Maybe a sign and a few enforcement actions would probably get the message across.”

One member of the Cash Creek Estates group in attendance informed the council that there was a significant increase in volume and excessive speed at “4 p.m. every afternoon when DecoArt workers got off work.”

The installation of a speed bump was suggested by Hannah James, a Vista Court resident, to help alleviate the speeding issue. It was also noted that Hilltopper, on the opposite end of Kid’s Fort Trail, was also a high traffic, high speed area.

“Speed bumps could be the answer. I’m not suggesting that is the answer,” Dr. James said. “I think enforcement might be the place to start to get the message across that we’re serious about the speed limit in the city limits.”

When the floor opened to council’s comments, Councilman Dalton Miller offered a different option to consider when addressing the traffic and speed issue.

“One of the things we could do there is make it a 3-way stop. We put a stop sign up there and make it a 3-way stop. That is going to stop the speeding,” he said. “I wasn’t aware of the cut-through from the factory. If we put a 3-way stop there, that would prevent that. I don’t know what we’ve got to do to put up a 3-way stop. What do we have to do?”

City Attorney John Hackley said, “I think you just stick up a sign.”

Zach Middleton, Stanford Police Chief, gave a nod to Miller’s proposal, but encouraged the council to advertise when the stop signs were going in.

“I don’t know that you have to do this, but you should advertise that, starting this date, we’re making it a 3-way stop. That way people can get ready for it,” he said.

Deatherage was in agreement saying, “I think anytime we can get information out there, the more informed the community is.”

Middleton said the city could post an officer at the 3-way stop initially to see that it is being observed. A stop ahead sign would also be posted at the top of the hill to alert drivers of the stop.

In addition to her concern over traffic safety in the Cash Creek community, Hannah James made a plea before the council.

“I have a burden in my heart coming up here because we’ve owned land before,” said James, who has lived on Vista Court for 22 years. “When people tell us, ‘Hey, you’ve got to come bush hog.’ We get on it. We never wait for a moment … I’m having an issue with the lot behind our home. I’ve had so many bunnies come in and critters all over the place. I don’t know who owns that land but he never bush hogs and he gets away with it.”

“That five acres to the left of us that faces Hilltopper, that’s owned by (Tommy) Owens and he is so good. With just a little bit of hay, he is there bush-hogging it all and baling it all,” she added. “We’ve had a lot of rain and it’s come back up again. Today, Owens was there bush-hogging and we were trying to ask him if he would consider this for hay. He was very kind. He said, ‘Honey, I’d bush-hog it for you but I don’t know who owns it.’”

“I’m very proud of Stanford. I wish I knew what the problem was with this owner. Why won’t he bush-hog. There are so many people willing to bush-hog. I think the Code Enforcement Officer has done his best.”

Donna Turpin of Arrowhead Trail brought several issues before the council during citizen’s comments.

“I live in the subdivision Indian Trails. When (Eddie) Carter was in there (mayor), they only blacktopped part of that road. They blacktopped the circle of my road to the end of Arrowhead,” she said. “Choctaw Ridge, that road is tore all to pieces. When that man that has all that junk was out there with a sledgehammer beating that blacktop down, that wasn’t good. And he needs to clean that filth up around his house. And the street sign they hung up for children …. you don’t hang it at the top of the street sign. Are you going to look up and say, ‘Oh, we’ve got kids in the neighborhood?’ Are you going to look up in the sky? It needs to be down where people can see it.”

Concerning the junk she said was around a house, Miller asked Turpin if she had called code enforcement about the junk and she stated, “Yes, I have.”

“I was just asking because this was the first I’ve heard it,” Miller said.

“And it (street) needs a speed limit down there – 15 miles an hour. They come out of that cubby hole going 45-50,” Turpin continued. “There ain’t none. There needs to be a speed limit sign up there.”

Turpin also brought up the poor state of a sidewalk in the area saying, ‘Somebody’s going to fall and sue the city right there.”

The council related that, while the streets may not be marked, the speed limit on city streets is 25 miles per hour. When it came to the incomplete blacktopping job in the Indian Trails Subdivision, the council told Turpin there could be two issues behind that.

“It depends on whether the city has taken over the street,” said Deatherage. “A road has to be up to grade before it’s turned over to the city, and the city can’t take over a street until the developer gives it up so the city can take it over.”

Ernst said the same is true for sidewalks. They have to be turned over by the developer for the city to maintain.

Even if the streets have been turned over to the city, Ernst noted that now is not the time to be blacktopping streets just to complete a project.

“New water lines are going to be going through there. They’ve just started working on that project,” he said. “At some point they are going to be putting new water lines through there, so we don’t want to blacktop the street and then have to dig it back up.”

The council had on the agenda the first readings of three different ordinances, but decided to lay aside the readings of the ordinances after council members could not agree on proper procedure for adding a first reading to an agenda. First readings of Ordinance No. 220.071119 – Regulating the Number, Length and Conditions of a Yard Sale Within the City Limits of Stanford, KY, Ordinance No. 310.07.19 – Establishing the Guidelines for Smoke Detectors, and Ordinance No. 310.0719.02 – Establishing the Guidelines for Fireworks will be held at a later meeting.

In other business

* Council discussed possibly moving the location of city council meetings due to the acoustics of the L&N Depot and the size of the building to better accommodate the city’s citizens.

* Council approved a motion by Miller to install a video recorder to film future city council meetings.

* Appointed to the Industrial Board – Jordan Dick, 2-year term, Doug Gooch, 3-year term, and Bruce Edgington, 4-year term.