County OKs 30-day ‘pause’ to examine zoning regs for bourbon rickhouses

Judge-Executive Tim Hutchins, left, talks with Deputy Judge-Executive Brad Metcalf with Magistrate M.T. Harned in the foreground.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Saturday, May 6, 2023 — Nelson Fiscal Court gave its initial approval of a 30-day moratorium, or “pause” for all zoning applications related to new bourbon warehouse projects in Nelson County.

The approval came at a special-called meeting last Thursday afternoon.

After meeting a week earlier with local members of the bourbon industry and local elected officials, Judge-Executive Tim Hutchins said the meeting resulted in an agreement that the joint city-county planning commission needed to revise the rules for bourbon warehouses to allow the orderly growth of the bourbon industry and balance the land use plans for traditional manufacturing, agricultural, industrial, commercial and residential development.

Heaven Hill chairman Max Shapria speaks with Magistrate Jeff Lear prior to the start of Thursday’s special-called fiscal court meeting.

Hutchins said the county supports the bourbon industry, and said a possible new zoning classification for warehouses is being considered during what he called a “30-day pause” for bourbon warehouse zoning applications,

The ordinance was approved unanimously. The “pause” can be extended an additional 30 days if needed.

Following the vote, Heaven Hill Distilleries Chairman Max Shapira expressed his appreciation.

BULKY ITEM CONCLUDED. Bulky item pickup has concluded, and the crews have completed hauling tree debris, according to County Engineer Brad Spalding.

The old quarry on Quarry Lane is closed and no longer accepting storm debris, he said. Tree debris can be taken to the Nelson County Landfill for disposal.

SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR POSITION. The court approved creating a special investigator position in the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office. The position will be funded by opioid settlement funds the county will receive rather than taxpayer dollars, Hutchins said.

In other business, the court:

— Approved the first reading of an ordinance, regulating massage parlors in the county, The ordinance mirrors one approved by the City of Bardstown. The goal of the ordinance is to fight human trafficking, and not affect legitimate massage businesses.

— approved the sale of 16-plus acres of industrial park land to Takigawa for expansion of their manufacturing facility. The tract is located behind Takigawa’s existing plant. The purchase price of the property was $300,000.

— Approved a proposed sports tournament at Dean Watts Park.


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