The public improvements for the Westgate subdivision received approval from the Nicholasville Planning Commission on Monday night by a 6-1 vote, with commissioner Burt Ladd the lone no vote.
The planners sent the project to the Nicholasville City Commission for it to decide whether to take on maintenance costs for the development that is still tied up in litigation.
Nearly 99 percent of preliminary work for the 24-house development has been completed, with the only work remaining to put up signage and lighting, according to engineer Jason Banks.
At Monday night’s meeting, Banks made a request on behalf of the Westgate developer RCCB, LLC to accept the public improvements and dedicate it to the city of Nicholasville.
Banks assured the commission that RCCB, LLC would “write a check” for the initial cost of stop signs and light posts if the city decides to take up the maintenance cost.
Westgate is currently locked in major litigation that may hold up any actual housing development for as long as five to 10 years, commission attorney Bobby Gullette said. This means there would be no housing revenue coming from it and the maintenance cost would be passed on to Nicholasville taxpayers.
However, Gullette said it was not up to the planning commission to decide if it was right for the city to take on the maintenance responsibilities but only if RCCB, LLC had complied with the regulations set forth by the commission.
It was Gullette’s opinion, backed by Banks, that RCCB, LLC had complied with the steps put forth by the planning commission and should allow the city to decide on its own whether to take on the responsibility.
The 8-acre Unit 1A is the first of a much larger three-part development that was approved by the planning commission May 31.
Attorney Elizabeth Darby, representing R.J. Corman Real Estate, LLC, was also at the meeting Monday and asked to speak her disapproval and provided a letter contesting RCCB, LLC’s request with several exhibits showing studies that back her claim that the developer is doing irreparable damage to the creek and surrounding land.
R.J. Corman, who owns the adjacent property to the Westgate subdivision, has sued the planning commission and the land developer.
Darby and Versailles attorney Hank Graddy, who represents homeowners of Heritage Estates, have filed appeals to halt Westgate’s development and filed an injunction in circuit court and the Kentucky Appeals Court. Both appeals were denied, though the lawsuit over the legitimacy of the planning commission’s approval of the subdivision and alleged damage to the environment is still ongoing in Jessamine Circuit Court.
Banks objected, stating he felt Darby was trying to introduce evidence onto public record that Judge Hunter Daughterly, who is presiding over the lawsuit, had already denied in the process of the litigation currently going on between R.J. Corman and RCCB, LLC.