City Council Still Dealing With Growing Pains
The Burgin City Council approved a variance for a proposed real estate development and held firm on an offer to buy another property as the city continues to deal with growing pains. New construction is booming in Burgin, Commissioner Syndicat “Sid” Dunn joked that one house was built so fast he thought an alien had landed. But Burgin doesn’t have planning and zoning, and that led to a fairly long meeting last Wednesday.
The council approved an exemption to the city’s lot size ordinance as requested by H&P Properties to build nine single family rental units—two beds and one bath—on a lot on Danville Street. The lot is narrow, 400 by 72 feet, and Councilman Dunn said he is worried about congestion. The developers said they projected 12 automobiles to be served by one driveway. They said the lot would have approximately 75 feet of road frontage on Kentucky Route 33. Dunn asked if six residential units would be feasible instead of nine.
“My main concern is the safety coming in and out,” Dunn said.
The developers said no other points of access are readily available. The developers, who had appeared at last month’s meeting, asked if they would need to request a variance for a boat or RV storage facility. Mayor Jim Caldwell said no.
“That’s the thing I hate the most,” said Councilman Jamie Keebortz. “I will bend over backwards to stop you from building a boat storage.”
Some Burgin residents who live near the lot also expressed concerns. They are worried about having more customers on the city water system that is poor to begin with in that area. They said they’ve had multiple shutdowns.
“One of the problems with that line is that we’re not having enough circulation,” Mayor Caldwell said. He said there is not enough flow going through the line. “The main problem on Danville is low flow.”
Chlorine is not water soluble and when temperatures heat up, the mandated chlorine level drops in the water, which forces the city to flush the system to keep disinfectant levels up.
“In this particular case, 18 customers would help,” Caldwell said.
The neighbors asked if the developers had done any sort of residential development before. One of the developers, Darwin Holloway, is the owner of Inside Out Services LLC, which serves local marinas around Herrington Lake. But the developer said they had not built anything like the development before.
When asked, the developers declined to reveal the rental prices, other than say rents would vary from $500 to $1200 a month. They said their goal is to make rent fair. They also said they do not intend to sell it to a management company. They will run it themselves.
At the last city council meeting, the developers said the taxable value of property would go from $20,000 to half a million dollars.
Councilman Keebortz said it would be a revenue flow for Burgin. At the same time, Keebortz said he understood the residents concerns, and said that it would be best to hold a meeting where everyone could be heard.
“Maybe we all sit down and make everybody happy,” Keebortz said. “At least they know what’s going on.”
However, the developers said they wanted to start construction in January. They said they’d brought in drawings for the council as they had been asked.
“We tried to do the bare minimum,” Holloway said. “I don’t want to spend a lot of money for naught. It’s an $11,000 property. It’s not worth that much trouble.”
Some of the residents were also dubious about the value of another meeting, especially after some council members expressed support for the project.
“If you have already made up your mind, don’t bother,” said one resident. “Don’t just pay lip service.”
“Somebody needs to do something,” said Mayor Caldwell. At that point, it was 7:56 p.m. The meeting began at 6:30.
Councilman David Caldwell moved to grant the variance, which was seconded by Councilman John “Skippy” Stamp. The motion passed 3-1 with Keebortz and Dunn abstaining and Councilman Joe Monroe voting no.
Even though it was late and several council members said they wanted to go home, Mayor Caldwell took a phone call from a member of the White-Dunn family. The council voted last month to purchase a house on Main Street from the family for $80,000. In an executive session, the council voted to not accept a counter offer brought in by a member of the family.
Over a speaker phone, a family representative argued the document was not a counter offer.
“These are suggestions,” the family representative said. “That is not a counter offer at all.”
Mayor Caldwell said the family member was asking for a payoff on the property and taxes on top of the $80,000 purchase price.
“She’s asking for an additional $4,000, basically,” Caldwell said. “We’ve made a deal and she’s presented this to us as a counter offer.”
The family representative insisted it was not an official counter offer
“If you can get her to sign off on the original deal, we will honor it,” Caldwell said. “You all have got to work it out with her.”
The mayor said the city still wants the property.
“If she comes in and signs it we’re good,” Caldwell said.
The city council also heard a progress report from Ken Stewart, the owner of the Burgin RV Park. Last month, Stewart told the council they were looking to service self-contained RVs on approximately 30 lots. He said the lots averaged approximately 1,500 square feet per RV with a 12 foot distance between each unit.
“We’re looking at another week before we get it to the proper people in Frankfort,” Stewart said.