Thursday, October 14, 2004

Towne Center should proceed with latest OK

Council approves project again

By Travis Gettys
Enquirer contributor

CRESCENT SPRINGS - The developer of the long-planned Buttermilk Towne Center can begin applying for building permits after City Council voted 4-2 Wednesday to approve a development plan.

"It's pretty much a done deal - now it's just a matter of getting good tenants in there," said councilman Jim Collett, who voted against approval with councilman Nick Berry.

The ordinance passed by the same vote that it did earlier this year, before a judge's August ruling that City Council had violated its own zoning ordinance and sent the project back through the approval process.

Collett said he remained concerned that a planned bridge, which would divert traffic over railroad tracks to a parking lot near the project, would not be built.

Developer Bear Creek Capital must gain approval from Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky, which owns the parking lot, before it builds the bridge, which planners say would alleviate traffic problems on neighboring roads.

If the bridge plan is rejected by TANK at its November board meeting, money to pay for it will be applied to improvements on Buttermilk Pike, said councilman Tom Vergamini.

City Council also approved an ordinance 5-1 to permit Sunday sales of package liquor, in the wake of an appeals court ruling that allows stores to sell distilled spirits and wine from 11 a.m. Sunday until 2:30 a.m. Monday.

The ordinance will go into effect immediately, but city attorney David Schneider said the city's two package liquor stores must first obtain Sunday licenses from the state.

Restaurants, however, may begin selling liquor by the drink at 11 a.m. beginning Sunday, he said.

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