The Old Richmond Road Neighborhood Association has existed for 30 years. Comments in regard to a front-page Herald-Leader article incorrectly suggest the association is a new, personally controlled organiza tion established to oppose Boone Creek Outdoors' proposal to build a commercial zip line/canopy cable ride in the Agricultural Rural Zone along Boone Creek near the Kentucky River.
These comments suggest the issue is a dispute between neighboring property owners and singled out a specific neighbor for criticism. That perception is erroneous and self-serving for the company and ignores the fact that this large neighborhood is universal in its opposition.
This neighborhood association is an organization of more than 300 members and supporters focused on preserving the qualities and lifestyle of rural southeast Fayette County.
The individual targeted in the comments is a member of the association, but not a director or officer and by no means the lone objector to the venture.
The association has opposed and supported other projects in the area and serves to keep members informed of many things: upcoming events, area crime, lost dogs, sicknesses and deaths. It is a legitimate organization and belongs to the Fayette County Neighborhood Association.
Additionally, the Old Richmond Road Neighborhood Association has supported projects like the corn maze at Kelley Farm, the Jean Farris Winery and Bistro and the Grimes Mill Winery because they are compatible with the agricultural and rural environment of the neighborhood and are in compliance with the zoning laws.
The association opposed Boone Creek Outdoors' conditional use permit request for a commercial zip-line facility before the Board of Adjustment in early 2012. The board denied the permit, emphasizing that zoning regulations do not allow such a facility in the agricultural/rural zone, the inability of emergency responders to enter the area except on foot and the lack of an acceptable sewage treatment plan for the area immediately upstream of Kentucky American Water's intake.
The association collected names of households that opposed the proposal in order to support a petition to be presented to a government committee considering recreational uses in all zones in Fayette County.
Not one single member or area resident — except for developer Burgess Carey, his mother and his lawyer — has ever expressed to the organization that they favor the proposal. In fact, the neighborhood is unanimous in its opposition because it is wrong to put this entertainment facility in an environmentally sensitive area with steep slopes and thin soils.
Carey has chosen to ignore the Board of Adjustment denial and has started construction of a cable transport system without a building permit which he cannot get due to the BOA denial of his request. His construction is illegal and illustrates reckless disregard for Fayette County's rules, regulations and laws.
Our neighborhood association intends to fight this illegal operation and is pleased the Lexington government is working to enforce its own laws. It is very disappointing that a neighbor and landowner would so openly violate the laws and regulations of our community, but it would be even more troubling if our elected officials and city employees decided to look the other way.
At issue: Feb. 27 Herald-Leader article, "Zip-line plans gliding forward; work continues despite city telling developer to stop"
Mary Diane Hanna is president of the Old Richmond Road Neighborhood Association. This commentary was approved by the association's nine-person board of directors.