Woodford Forward is a group of citizens and business owners that advocates for innovative policies that promote the highest and best use of urban land and the agricultural use of productive farmland throughout Woodford County.
By working with government officials and the community, the group provides land-use advocacy for the innovative development and redevelopment of our urban areas and adequate infrastructure for citizens and businesses. Through these efforts, we will promote the link between quality of life and economic development.
According to the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning and Zoning office, there are 326.725 acres that are proposed for annexation that are outside the Versailles Urban Service Boundary. Based on our mission, vision and values, we strongly oppose this annexation.
Annexation should occur within the existing Urban Service Boundary and should consider sound land use planning principles. It is incumbent upon the Versailles City Council to consider the goals and objectives of the 2011 Comprehensive Plan before considering this annexation. The proposed annexation does not comply with the following objectives of the plan:
■ Enhance the expansion and revitalization of commercial needs within the central business districts of Versailles and Midway.
■ Encourage the reuse/redevelopment of declining commercial areas.
■ Promote an adequate level of public services and facilities through the continued use of the Urban Service/Growth Area concept.
■ Protect agricultural land from urbanization and incompatible land uses in order to provide adequate resources for all agricultural production.
The Comprehensive Plan says, "it is clearly intended that the rural character of these lands be preserved. The use of the lands in this rural district should be primarily reserved for agricultural operations, open space, agricultural tourism activities, and limited low-density residential including in- family conveyances in order to support Woodford County's agricultural economy, rural landscape, and rural cultural heritage."
There were 1,307 acres of vacant land within the Versailles and Midway Urban Service Boundaries and non-urban Woodford County, according to the most recent 2011 Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Comprehensive Plan Update, as of March 31, 2011.
The vacant land included approximately 221 acres in Versailles and 152 acres in Midway. In addition, the county had 933 acres of vacant land.
The proposed annexation will set a precedent and degrade Woodford County's comprehensive planning process. This annexation denies this established process and will make it easier to expand the Urban Service Boundary in the future, with less input from our citizens. An annexation that leads to an expansion or a contraction of the Urban Service Boundary must occur only in the context of a Comprehensive Plan update.
Woodford Forward strongly opposes this annexation.