The Troy Pike entrance for a proposed Wal-Mart superstore in Versailles has been denied by the state Transportation Cabinet, but it's unclear what that means for the project.
In an Aug. 20 letter, James Ballinger, chief district engineer for the Department of Highways District 7 Office in Lexington, said the entrance as proposed "would not be a suitable location for the primary access to this development."
Ballinger continued: "The close proximity to the Blue Grass Parkway/Ky. 33 (Troy Pike) interchange and the Ky. 2113 (Falling Springs Boulevard)/Ky. 33 intersection combined with the proposed traffic to be generated and the potential for a considerable amount of traffic generated by future development are all factors ... which would negatively impact the flow of traffic on Ky. 33. For these reasons, your request is hereby denied."
Ballinger recommended that the development would "best be served by having the primary access point on Ky. 2113 (Falling Springs Boulevard). A right-in/right-out access could be considered at your (Ky. 33) proposed access point."
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However, if the primary entrance were moved to Falling Springs Boulevard, that would mean crossing land owned by Josephine Barrows, a neighboring property owner, Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott said.
"I think it's a hurdle. I don't know if it can be overcome or not," Traugott said. "I was discouraged when I saw the letter Friday."
Wal-Mart wants to put a superstore on 57 acres owned by Howard and Julia Sellers, the applicants to whom Ballinger addressed his letter. The Sellerses had submitted plans and a traffic study to the Transportation Cabinet for a review.
The Sellerses can appeal the cabinet's decision, said Natasha Lacy, a spokeswoman for the Department of Highways.
Jon Gay, a lawyer who represents the Sellerses, said Wal-Mart attorneys are dealing with matters involving the development plan. Wal-Mart spokesman Bill Wertz had no specific comment about the letter, but said this "is considered part of the normal process we go through" for new stores.
Meanwhile, the subject of Wal-Mart will not come up at the Sept. 11 meeting of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford Planning and Zoning Commission. Noon Wednesday was the deadline for Wal-Mart to get on the agenda for that meeting, but the company had not submitted anything by the deadline, said Pattie Wilson, planning director of the commission.
Since April, Wal-Mart has been given time to correct deficiencies in its plans that must be addressed before the planning commission can give its approval.