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Thrasher presents drug rehab ordinance; Watts tells residents to trust the process

Don Thrasher, the Republican candidate for judge executive, argues with Judge Executive Dean Watts and Nelson Fiscal Court in favor of his proposed ordinance change to limit the size of rehab facilities in areas zoned Agricultural.

 

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018 — A proposed change to the county’s zoning ordinances regarding rehabilitation centers located in Agricultural-zoned districts did not get a hearing at Tuesday morning’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting.

Don Thrasher, the Republican candidate for judge executive, asked the court to consider a measure to limit the number of clients to 16 in any residential treatment program located in an Agricultural-zoned district. His request concerns an application to locate a 100-bed drug rehab clinic in the former Cox’s Creek elementary school building on Old Louisville road.

County attorney Matthew Hite said he didn’t believe that such a change — even if approved by fiscal court — could apply to an applicant who had already filed under the existing regulations. A regulation changed that originated in fiscal court would still be required to go to the planning commission for a public hearing and commission approval, he said.

Thrasher said the Old Louisville Road school building wasn’t a suitable location for a drug rehab due to a lack of infrastructure — water supply, and sewer, specifically.

Watts said he shared the concerns of local residents regarding the infrastructure issues with the Cox’s Creek school building and concerns about its suitability to serve 100 residential clients.

Watts told Thrasher and others who attended the meeting specifically about the drug rehab that he had faith in the Nelson County Board of Adjustments, who will take into consideration the infrastructure issues facing the proposed rehab clinic. The problems facing the planned rehab are known and were identified in the planning commission’s staff report.

“The Board of Adjustments will be addressing those issues” in their scheduled Sept. 20, 2018 public hearing, Watts said.

Thrasher said he feared the board of adjustments “will do the wrong thing” and approve the planned clinic for the property. As Thrasher’s comments took a political turn — and Thrasher began a list of proposals he had previously brought to fiscal court and no action was taken — Watts told Thrasher to bring those complaints to their upcoming political debates. “I don’t want to use the fiscal court meetings as a political platform,” he told Thrasher.

In comments after the meeting Watts expressed his full confidence in the members of the board of adjustments, who will examine the issues and weigh the evidence it has before it.

PAVING FUNDS. The court approved two resolutions in order to accept state funding for paving projects in the county.

The first project is paving Sullivan Lane, which received $144,165 in state discretionary funding to pave the entire roadway.

The second agreement included $132,456 in state flex funding promised months ago to pave portions of Hilton Lane, Hutchins Lane and Nazareth Drive. Due to weather, those roads may or may not get paved this year, depending on the asphalt plant’s schedule.

In other business, the court:

— approved a tax assessment moratorium request from Joseph Ballard regarding a home at 204 East Stephen Foster Ave. The moratorium encourages investment by giving property owners who invest in their properties a five-year period during which their property assessment will not be increased.

— held second and final approval of the 2018 tax rates, which remain the same for real estate and personal property at 14.3 cents per $100 value. The total tax revenue the county is expected to receive is $5.75 million.

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