Shame on commission, Ball
I attended a Jan. 26 planning commission hearing on a proposed zone change of the parcel of land called “the peninsula” on Squires Road. The citizens of our subdivision tried to stop it or have the developers decrease the density of the site.
The case against this Ball Homes development was presented in an outstanding manner by our attorney, Nathan Billings, and a chorus of well-informed, brilliantly stated voices of citizens giving testimony as to the damage to nature and our drinking water, and the fire danger caused by the density of the site — to name a few effects to this property and neighborhood.
I do not see how the commission failed to hear and understand the danger imposed by this development and the immense traffic problem it will create in an already congested area. Once again we have no voice strong enough to counter big corporate greed.
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Thankz to all who participated in this effort to save our community and our peninsula. Thanks, also, to one commission member, Carolyn Plumlee, for hearing our concerns and casting a dissenting vote. Shame on the rest of the commission and Ball Homes.
At least pretend to listen
Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World, should be renamed the Bull Capital of the World after the performance of the planning commission on Jan. 26 concerning the Ball Homes rezoning on Squires Road.
With 750 signed letters of opposition, 200 neighborhood residents in attendance and 50 or so three-minute statements given in person, board members took about 10 minutes (after the member seated at the far-left end literally woke up) to present a motion to vote on the rezoning of Squires Road Peninsula. It was blatantly obvious the board members had made their conclusions way before the meeting.
With four hours of presentations and the volume of information given, at least the board could have humored the neighbors by sleeping on it and then discussing it for a day or two.
Balance growth, habitat
I want to thank a few members of the Lexington planning commission for their support during the Ball Homes rezoning meeting.
As president of the Central Kentucky Audubon Society, I appreciate Commissioner David Drake noting that “habitat preservation is a very powerful argument” and Commissioner Carolyn Plumlee’s motion for a 100-foot riparian buffer, the width recommended in most academic research on the subject. I am disappointed that the vote favored a more narrow conservation easement; Audubon maintains that a wider riparian buffer is not cumbersome regulation nor prohibitive of development.
One argument raised at the hearing implied that the presence of birders on the Lakeshore Drive causeway showed development of a reservoir — even development with no riparian buffer at all — does not significantly degrade habitat. But birders frequent the causeway in spring and fall looking for migratory waterfowl — the occasional grebe or loon stopping on migration — and there is a significant difference between an open lake and the habitat required to support a diversity of songbirds, raptor and migratory wood warblers.
With so many of our native birds in sharp decline due to habitat loss, it was good that some of our planning commission members took habitat preservation into consideration. I wish they all would. Lexington needs to balance protection of natural areas with well-planned urban growth.