Council votes ‘no’ on zone change for Nicholasville Road home

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The fate of a 1920’s-era home on the corner of Nicholasville Road and Edgemoor Drive was in the hands of the Urban County Council Thursday night.

The home at 1918 and 1922 Nicholasville Road, is owned by Julie Butcher, who applied to change the properties zoning from a single-family residential to a professional office zone in order to build a two-story office building and off-street parking.

That’s something many people who live in the Southern Heights neighborhood behind the home did not want.

“This house is, again, a cornerstone for this neighborhood,” said neighbor Mike Brower.

“I think this is a case of an individual wanting to realize a profit of their investment and it shouldn’t happen at the expense of an entire neighborhood,” said Molly Davis.

The Urban County Planning Commission voted twice on the proposal, one ended in a tie, the other 5-to-4 against changing the zoning.

Then it was on to the Urban County Council, where council members heard arguments for both sides during a special meeting Thursday night that came after sme two years of debate and hearings on the request.

“It’s the perfect type of buffer between the corridor and the business types and the residential area behind it. This isn’t a four story hotel on a two acre site, this isn’t a gas station with lights on poles and people pulling out 24 hours a day, its an office which has limited in and out during regular business hours and it’s right on the corridor for traffic,” said Nathan Billings, the lawyer for Julie Butcher.

It was argued that the home, valued at more than $600,000, will not sell as a single-family home due to it being described as not family friendly, because of traffic, and being too close to the busy road. Proponents argued the zone change is the least-intense option.

But the opposition, representing the Southern Heights Neighborhood Association, argued the home is historical and the zone change would impact the other homes on Edgemoor Road.

“The neighborhood was established as single-family residences from the beginning in the 1930’s and does not contain under utilized structures and it presents an attractive and green entrance to Lexington and the University of Kentucky. The proposed development of an office building at the proposed property would be detrimental to the neighborhood,” said Jessica Winters, the lawyer for Southern Heights Neighborhood Association.

Council members agreed the decision was a hard one, that Lexington was at a crossroads on figuring out how to grow without compromising quality of life.

But after a lengthy discussion, the council voted to uphold the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the zone change.

Categories: Featured, Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *