Local housing builder Shawn Murphy has officially tendered his resignation from the Nicholasville Planning Commission after missing several meetings this year.
In Murphy’s absence, the resignation letter was read aloud by planning-commission chairman John Quinn at the start of Monday night’s meeting.
Murphy’s short, to-the-point explanation cited family obligations as his reason for leaving.
“It is with heartfelt regret that I tender this letter of resignation,” Murphy wrote. “I sincerely appreciate the opportunity which has been given to me over the past several years to serve this community, but due to increased family commitments, I feel I will not be able to continue to devote adequate time to the planning commission.”
At the time of his letter, Murphy’s eligibility as a citizen appointed to the commission seat was already in jeopardy.
In the 2012 calendar year, Murphy had missed a total of four planning commission meetings, with only one being excused. Records at city hall show that Murphy did not miss a single 2011 planning-commission regular session but was unaccounted for at the 2012 monthly meetings in March, April and June.
The fourth meeting he missed was the Aug. 27 scheduled meeting; the next day he tendered his resignation.
According the planning commission’s bylaws, Murphy was subject to removal after his fourth absence in August. Had he wanted to remain on the commission, he would have been required to explain his excessive absences at the September meeting. That would have then led the commission to vote on whether to allow his continued participation, according to the bylaws.
Besides his attendance, Murphy’s voting record and possible conflicts of interest have been continually called into question — mostly surrounding his business and personal relationship with land developer Clay Corman.
Attorneys Elizabeth Darby and Hank Graddy have claimed that Murphy has continually voted on properties owned by Corman that benefited him in one way or another.
Murphy owns the construction business SGM Homes, LLC, and purchased numerous lots and built several homes in the Lu-Carlton development, which is owned by Clay Corman.
The issue was raised again in January and May when Graddy joined with Darby, who represents R.J. Corman Real Estate, LLC, in the fight to halt another one of Clay Corman’s developments — the Westgate Subdivision.
Darby and Graddy allege that Murphy could have potentially received “preferential opportunities” by voting on the approval of the Westgate Subdivision.
Murphy abstained from the May 31 vote to approve the Westgate Subdivision and also denied that night that he had any conflicts of interest concerning Clay Corman.
R.J. Corman has since sued the planning commission and the developing company to halt that development.
Grady and Darby have presented letters multiple times to the planning commission referencing ties between Murphy, Banks Engineering, Inc., and with J.R. Banks, who is a co-organizer of RCCB, LLC — the developer of the Westgate Subdivision.
The planning commission is now down to seven members. Nicholasville Mayor Russ Meyers said he will listen to a recommendation by planning commission director Greg Bohnett and deliver that to the city commission. There is a 90-day window to select and appoint a new planning commissioner, but no names have been submitted as of Tuesday.