Stanford updates zoning ordinance, talks future

Published 11:52 am Tuesday, November 21, 2023

By Abigail Roberts

Correspondent

STANFORD – The Stanford City Council approved an amended zoning ordinance to bring the city’s zoning laws up to date.

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The ordinance is Planning and Zoning Ordinance 920.27, regarding the establishment of districts.

The proposed amendments were recommended by the Stanford Planning and Zoning Commission and a first reading of the amended ordinance was approved during the Stanford City Council Nov. 9 meeting.

Stanford Mayor Dalton Miller said there are several key changes in the ordinance, including changes that aid the effort to provide more affordable housing in city limits.

“I don’t know if anybody else in the room knows it or not but land is scarce in city limits and we’re looking at reducing lot sizes for what land we have left to make more affordable housing,” Miller said. “That’s the big push right now, affordable housing – not housing, but affordable.”

Miller said the lot sizes are being reduced from 12,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.

“Road frontage is going to drop from 80 to 70…and we’ve got the thing in there for the townhouses where they will have a common law where the line is going to be for a retirement community that’s looking at being built,” he said. “They’ve added a lot of stuff into the business district that was never there before because they didn’t exist in 1993. You know there was no such thing as an internet business in 1993, that I’m aware of.”

City Attorney John Hackley said there were no marijuana dispensaries or sellers of alcohol back then.

“So all of that has been added into this new ordinance,” Miller said. “I can tell you now that I did find something that we overlooked in Planning and Zoning and it will probably be added in because we’re looking towards the future with the way the government is going with the medical marijuana. There were some things that were overlooked because we actually have facilities in town. We have two ag communities in town, have Sears Farm and one is Kentucky Fresh Harvest and we still don’t know if it’s going to be contractual growing for the government in a county, or how it’s going to be. There’s other things, processing facilities…”

Miller said there will be many components to the medical marijuana business such as cultivators, testing facilities, processing plants and dispensary facilities.

“It’s something in the future that’s going to come up so we’re adding that in here, even though it may never be sold in Stanford, we may never approve that,” Miller said. “But still, it’s something I think we need to put in our ordinance for the future, looking down the road because it’s very expensive to change this ordinance. They’ve been working on this for seven months, on getting this stuff updated. The Planning and Zoning attorney has put in a lot of work.”

Under 673, Highway Business District (B-3), the amended ordinance has added permitted uses to include “breweries, wineries, craft rectifiers and/or distilleries producing under a Class B license in KRS 143.120, marijuana/cannabinoid dispensaries.”

Miller told City Council members that affordable housing is being pushed a lot out of Frankfort and Washington.

“Not low-income housing, but affordable. I just think we need to get ahead of the game,” Miller said. “You can’t go into an established subdivision that already has subdivision regulations, like Turkey Foot or Edgewood. You can’t go into those established places…but when it comes to new stuff or some of the old lots we have in town that are 70-foot wide, that’s it, it allows us to go back without putting an undue burden on the public by having to go to the Board of Adjustments, having those meetings and having to pay for those meetings.”

Council Member Bill Miracle asked what Stanford’s plans for growth are over the next 10 to 15 years.

“Really the only way we’ve got to go is east,” Miller said. “We’re still waiting on the rules on annexation that are going to be changed by the legislature.

Miller said residents outside of the city can get together, gather signatures and ask to be a part of the city.

“Consensual annexation is a lot easier than non-consensual,” he said. “The rules are a lot different.”

Miracle asked if any recent studies had been completed.

Miller said due to the loss of staff within the agency that is supposed to be doing that study, they are behind.

In July, Lincoln County, the City of Stanford and Crab Orchard planning and zoning committees all went in together to receive a study at a reduced price, Miller said.

Stanford Fire Chief Scott Maples said a regional study was recently completed for affordable housing and Stanford and Danville were hot spots.

“It’s where people want to go but there’s nowhere for them to go,” Maples said.

Miracle asked why the city doesn’t have a place for them to go.

“Nobody wants to sell their land,” Miller said.

Hackley said the subdivisions in Stanford were built quite a long time ago.

“Individuals have to make large investments, have to take large risks, and put down infrastructure,” Hackley said.

“The problem right now is with sewer lines,”Miller added. “I’m working with our senator and representative on trying to get some help with that out of Frankfort…I’m working with them to try to get some assistance with the expansion of some of that.”

Miller said affordable, according to the market right now, is under $150,000.

“There’s a lot of moving parts to all of this,” he said. “We’re trying. Planning and Zoning worked hard on this to get it down.”

The city has been working on annexing Goshen Cut Off, as well as a few roads in that area, and some land along U.S. 27 up to the edge of Morgan Manor.

“It takes nine months to get them surveyed,” Miller said.

There is also the proposition to annex all of Veteran’s Park into Stanford City Limits, he added.

“Because right now, if there’s a car on fire in the parking lot, if it’s past the third parking space, it’s technically in the county. But we still police and provide fire protection to the whole place…it’s something that we’re looking at is all of the park, that way we’ll have consistency with everything going on there and it also, by being in the city, allows for me to apply for grants for that property for a Splash Pad,” Miller said. “…There’s a lot of things that can help in the future, that the city and the county can jointly do, in order to double up on the grants and get some more things out there for our kids.”

Miller also updated the City Council on other happenings within the city:

• The old hospital and what was formerly Dr. Click’s office have both been sold to Volunteers of America.

“They are going after a Brownsfield grant to be able to evacuate the asbestos in the building and have it removed properly and instead of remodeling the old hospital and Dr. Click’s office it looks like we’re going to do a complete demolition and build new,” Miller said. “It’s something we’ve had a lot of meetings over the last year about Volunteers of America. They still want to be in Stanford because this is a central location for several counties and they want to be able to reach as many people as possible.”

Miller said he’s glad that deal is done and they are moving forward.

“I don’t know about everybody else in the room but about everybody’s family in some form or fashion has been affected by the opioid epidemic. Either you personally know someone or your kids know someone who’s been affected by it. This is a unique program that helps pregnant women…and that is the most unique part about it, it helps pregnant women have clean babies and that is what it’s all about to me. The next baby we save may be the one that grows up and finds the cure for cancer. Who knows?”;

• Miller said construction of the new Cumberland Family Physicians beside Walmart is ahead of schedule.

“They’re hanging drywall,” he said. “That’s really good. They initially had an end-of-september next year completion date, that may be moved up about 45 days. They are already getting doctors and nurses lined up to work here.”

The business also plans to do some community outreach, as well, Miller said;

• The blacktopping of Main Street has been rebid, the mayor said.

“I think this is the third time they have bid this project out and nobody is changing their bid. It’s running at about 11 percent over, more than six, so the state automatically rebids,” Miller said. “They’ve assured me that it will be block-topped by June 30, before the end of fiscal year.”;

• The gas company has moved onto Logan Avenue, he added. They have just put all the four-inch pipe in on Logan Avenue. They are running the two-inch main now. They are ahead of schedule, Miller said;

• Miller recognized Abby Bastin for being named to the state Class 2A Cross Country team;

• The Stanford Christmas Parade will be on Dec. 2 and the Jingle Bell Jog is the following day on Dec. 3.

• To date, the city has collected 44.42 of the city’s property taxes;

• The ABC regulatory fees just came in for the second quarter and the city has collected $42,581.61 in regulatory fees for the two quarters;

• Council member Ronnie Deatherage said no one he has talked to is happy about the proposed road work in front of the Sunset Motor Lodge. Miller said it won’t be more dangerous but it will be inconvenient. It is a state road and not under the city’s jurisdiction. They have not given the city a time frame on when the work will be started or completed.

“I don’t think any of it is set in stone because of the cost,” Miller said; and

• The Lincoln County Public Library is now selling the Memories on Main book, which is full of memories and photos of Main Street in Stanford. The books are available for purchase at the LCPL.