City of Ghent re-establishes P&Z, Board of Adjustments

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By Sharon Graves

GHENT, Ky. – The city of Ghent last week resurrected two essential governing boards.

On Nov. 11, the city commission appointed seven members to the Board of Adjustments and three to the Planning and Zoning Board. On Wednesday night, Dec. 10, with assistance from city attorney Jason Baute, the members of both boards elected officers, adopted by-laws and heard new business.

Officers for the Board of Adjustments are Tom Sibley, chairman; Darrell Lykins, vice chairman; and Melissa Lewellyn, secretary.

Officers for the Planning and Zoning Board are: Karen Browning, chairman; Ronnie Walker, vice chairman; Susie Crase, secretary; and Steve Barr, zoning administrator. Rounding out the board are members Judy Smith, Charlene Torline and Joe Beall Sr.

The first order of business for the new Board of Adjustments was to hear a request from attorney Nick Marsh, whose clients, Gary and Cheryl Nohner of Ghent, have been trying for nearly six months to set a double-wide modular home on property they own at 405 Davis St.

Marsh submitted a written request to the board for a “dimensional variance” of 10 feet to accommodate the home the Nohners are trying put on the property. The home they bought extends 10 feet into the required 20-foot setback. Marsh cited the guidelines the board must consider when granting any variance, and said the Nohners’ request adheres to all of them.

Wayne and Diane Young, who own a bed and breakfast at 411 Main St. in Ghent, have opposed the Nohners’ plans to set the modular home on the Davis Street property, saying they fear it will have a negative impact on the value of their property.

“I would like to see the laws we enacted followed,” Wayne Young said during the meeting. Young had served on the P&Z board in the past, and said he believes the city’s regulations are not being followed.

The board will hold a public hearing on the matter at 6 p.m. Jan. 20. All adjoining property owners will be notified for the hearing, which will be followed by the board’s regular meeting at 6:30 p.m.

The P&Z also got right to work following its organizational meeting. Darrell and Adam Lewis and Larry O’Neal came before the board to request a zoning change. O’Neal, who is buying 1.98 acres from the Lewis estate, wants the zoning changed from agricultural to commercial. He said he plans to build a BP station, convenience store and deli on the property, located in the 700 block of U.S. 42, on the east side of town.

O’Neal showed the board photographs of a station he owns in Sparta near the Kentucky Speedway.

He assured the board that there would be enough room for trucks to get in off the highway and not impede traffic. The station expects to sell diesel fuel and gasoline, and is planning a restaurant to seat 25-40 people.

The board is required to have two public hearings on the matter, and set the hearing dates for Jan. 7 and Jan. 21, with both starting at 6:30 p.m.

The hearing is open to anyone with concerns or comments regarding the requested zoning change and planned development.