Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Boone faces votes today

Beer, condos on agenda

By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BURLINGTON - Two contentious zoning issues could be decided by Boone County Fiscal Court tonight.

The court will decide whether to approve a zone change to allow beer to be sold at a craft store promoting heritage tourism near Big Bone Lick and whether to allow condominiums to be built on Boone Aire Road.

Both zone change requests were denied by the Boone County Planning Commission, but Fiscal Court has the final say.

The Fiscal Court could vote to overturn the planning commission's decision, affirm the decision or do nothing, in which case the commission's decision takes effect in 90 days.

In both cases, the fiscal court will allow the applicants to state their case, then allow opponents to state theirs. Neighbors have fought both zone changes.

In the first case, Nancy and Peter Blackmore want to be able to sell beer and have an amphitheater on their five acres on Ryle Road near Boat Dock Road.

Two weeks ago, the Blackmores opened Jane's Saddlebag in a farmhouse where they sell Kentucky crafts, Nancy Blackmore's book The Story of Big Bone Lick and snacks, Nancy Blackmore said Monday.

Her goal is to enhance heritage tourism in the area, she said.

"We want to be able to offer beer," Blackmore. "Beer is a component of tourism."

To sell beer and build an amphitheater, the Blackmores need a zone change.

Seven nearby property owners spoke out against the zone change at a public hearing in January, and 73 signed a petition against it.

"This is our neighborhood, we live here, and we don't want it destroyed," resident James Duvall said Monday.

Duvall and other residents were concerned about mixing beer, bikers and rural roads. They were also concerned about noise from the amphitheater.

The Planning Commission denied the request unanimously.

As an example of why they oppose the request, residents point to a Web site announcing a pig roast and motorcycle ride-in at Jane's Saddlebag May 1.

The Web site says the "ride-in" will take place from 11 a.m. to dusk with food, drinks and a live band.

Blackmore said Monday that they expect 150 to 500 people at the non-alcoholic event.

In the second case, Grand Communities wants to build 14 two-story buildings with 187 condos on 17 acres on Boone Aire Road near Glen Arbor Drive.

Planning Commission turned down the project, to be called the The Links at Whitestone.

The land is already zoned to allow 90 condos in 26 buildings.

At the public hearing, 24 residents spoke out against the project. Neighbors said the development is too dense for the area, which adjoins the The Links subdivision.

A building would be just 30 feet from the property boundary behind homes on Glen Arbor Drive.

Neighbors were also concerned about traffic and lower property values.

Grand Communities said the higher density is appropriate now because airport noise has increased at the site.

The condos would have private entrances and sell for about $125,000 to $130,000.

If you go

Boone County Fiscal Court meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building 2950 Washington St. Burlington.


E-mail bkelly@enquirer.com

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