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Monday, March 9, 2020

Alexandria Approves Zone Map Change for Development

Alexandria Mayor Andy Schabell and council member Sue Neltner discuss the zoning map change for the property along U.S. 27

By Robin Gee, city council beat editor

The road has been cleared for a new mixed-use development in Alexandria along U.S. 27. The project will involve three commercial buildings and a luxury apartment complex with up to 366 units to be developed in two phases. The developer is the Kendall Property Group (listed as the Perry/Strickman/Kendall Property Group), based in Indianapolis.

At its March 5 meeting, the city of Alexandria passed a zoning map amendment that would change the 69 acres at 7541 Alexandria Pike from R-RE (Residential Real Estate and Agriculture) to a PUD, or Planned Unit Development. The council approved the measure five to one, with council member Tom Baldridge opposed.

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Certain stipulations, agreed to by the developer, were written into the PUD:

  1. Permitted uses for the commercial lots are only for restaurants (not fast food) and retail or professional office space.
  2. Once the Kentucky Traffic Cabinet approves a traffic light, the developer will install it as soon as possible.

Traffic safety has been the ongoing concern. A traffic study did not indicate the need for a traffic light at this time, but a second study will be done once apartments are built, and it is anticipated a light will be necessary.

Originally zoned to allow for single-family homes, the hilly terrain of the acreage made it a hard sell. In fact, it created challenges for the developer who had to scale down and redesign his original plan to fit the situation.

Council member Stacey Graus summed up his support for the project. "I’ve looked at this whole project...Obviously a zone change is in order. The only question would be, with a zone change, do we think this is the best use of the property? Do we need upscale apartments? I think we are ready for upscale apartments in Alexandria."

He said the only questions he has had are based on concerns about additional traffic and related safety issues. It’s not a perfect situation, he said, but it’s a good project overall. "We’ve vetted this company, and it seems to put a good product out there...I think from the standpoint of a residential multi-unit property, this is as good as we’re going to be able to get. Everyone has done a good job on this."

RELATED: Alexandria City Officials Discuss Development Proposal...

Council approves changes to permitted uses in commercial zones

Council members also approved a zone text amendment removing car wash businesses as a permitted use in the Neighborhood Shopping Center (NSC) zone and the Highway Commercial (HC) zones. The city currently has four car washes (three operating and one already approved), and these would be permitted in the zone.

After the first reading of the text amendment, council members added language that would restrict expansion of those businesses to their existing properties. In other words, the car washes could not expand into nearby properties.

Nathan Atkinson, owner of the new Blue Roo Car Wash, requested council reconsider the restrictions on expansion with an eye toward future growth of existing businesses, but the council decided to retain the restrictions.

Another part of the text amendment included new language to clarify and unify language concerning the allowable length of weeds and grass on properties. The new text states that anything over eight inches would be considered a violation of code.

The text amendment passed unanimously.

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