The Georgetown-Scott County Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve an application to rezone the property located at 1442 Delaplain Road from A-1 (agricultural) to B-1 (business) to allow the applicants, Leaf & Barrel, to move forward with plans to open a cigar and bourbon lounge on the property. 

The property, located in Oxford Village, is also home to the old Oxford School building which houses operations for the Graves Lumber Yard.

The public hearing was closed at the Nov. 10 meeting but the commission voted to postpone a decision to give the applicants and local residents a chance to meet and discuss the residents’ concerns. 

Planning department staff recommended approval of the application, which they found to be in compliance with the comprehensive plan for the area. 

Zach Cato, attorney for Leaf & Barrel operators Charles “Pokey” Graves and his business partner Larry Ledbetter, presented information on efforts made to meet with community members and address concerns about light, signage, and safety. 

Brad Green, a resident of Oxford Village Lane, represented the neighbors, who were still largely opposed to the rezoning. 

“Even to someone who doesn’t live there it is apparent that this is not a business or commercial district,” Green said. “We are a community of many residences and small farms. We are a rural community off the main road and wish to remain that way at this time.” 

Green stated that the local neighbors will be involved in the comprehensive plan update, which will occur next year, and wish to have their neighborhood removed from the urban service boundary. 

State law requires local government refer to the local comprehensive plan in deciding whether or not re-zoning applications are appropriate. In many cases residents may move into a neighborhood zoned residential or agricultural and not realize that the comprehensive plan supports rezoning. At October’s planning commission meeting, for example, a large tract of land along the Elkhorn River adjacent to the Payne’s Landing development was rezoned from agricultural to residential, surprising residents who had believed the area could not be developed because it was zoned agricultural when they bought their properties. 

The current comprehensive plan is available to view online at gscplanning.com/comprehensive-plan.

Before Leaf & Barrel can open they will still need to obtain approval from the health department. Planning guidelines call for a minimum lot size of five acres for new business development that will not be connected to sewer, which is not available in Oxford Village. The Leaf & Barrel property is 3.44 acres and under the current plan will be home to not one but two businesses. 

The planning commission also voted to approve a final subdivision for Fairfield Farms, adding two additional lots to the subdivision under the condition that the developers bring Fairfield Farms road up to county standards as far as the entrances to the new lots. Richard Dugas, a resident of Fairfield Farms Road, spoke against the application citing a letter filed by all 9 homeowners in opposition. Dugas stated that the current homeowners were promised when they brought their lots that their road, an un-deeded right-of-way, would be going into the county system. The road, built to county standards in 2005, has fallen into disrepair and regulations do not allow for the addition of more than 3 lots to substandard roads. 

Other actions taken by the commission include:

— Approval of a final subdivision plat at 4476 Frankfort Road.

— Approval of a zone change from R-2 to B-2 for the property located at 1106 Horseshoe Drive.

 

Elizabeth Morey can be reached at emorey@news-graphic.com.

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