By Ben Mackin
The Frankfort/Franklin County Planning Commission held a recent public hearing to consider the merit of a zone change request for a 4.9-acre plot of land located at 209 Devils Hollow Road, in Frankfort, Ky., centralized between Lexington and Louisville.
The property’s owner, John T. Fint Jr., is seeking to change the zone from Rural Residential B (RB) to Commercial District (IC) so that he can use the land to open an outdoor storage facility for campers, recreational vehicles, trailers and boats.
Fint told the commission that the property sits far enough off the road that the business would be out of sight. He also pointed out that there is a growing need in the area for this kind of storage.
“I feel like Frankfort is in need of this kind of facility right now,” he stated. “I know with Elkhorn Campground taking on new ownership, they sort of went in where they had some boat, camper and RV storage down there. I don’t know the exact number but I’d say there were about 50 different campers that were stored down there at one time. I know they have taken that lot over and those people are trying to find another location to go to.” He also noted that many Frankfort residents who cannot keep RVs and trailers at home have to store their property miles away in other counties.
After Fint and his attorney, Bill Ayer, presented their case for the zone change, they answered questions from the commission. Fint highlighted his plans to make sure his business was as unobtrusive as possible to the homes that surround the plat and that it would be used solely for storage and that any structures built on the property would be limited to aluminum shelters.
Franklin County Planning Supervisor Ben Judah recommended that the planning commission deny the zone change due to the fact that the zone change is at odds with the county’s comprehensive plan.
He highlighted three problems with the proposal. “One, the comprehensive plan/future land use plan designates the property for suburban business center,” Judah stated. “Two, the industrial commercial zone district is not an appropriate zone district for suburban land use designation and three, the zone map amendment request is not in agreement with the comprehensive plan.”
Judah noted toward the end of the hearing that his recommendation for denial had to do with the proposed zoning rather than Fint’s intended use. “I see that Mr. Fint is proposing to bring a service that is clearly needed,” Judah said. “But because the underlying zoning is industrial in nature that does open up the door to wholesale manufacturing and warehousing and a whole number of uses that may not be appropriate in that area.”
No action was taken on the matter. The planning commission will receive a summary of the public hearing for review and will take action at the next meeting on April 13.
Ben Mackin is a reporter with the Kentucky State-Journal.