Nicholasville City Commissioners accepted public improvements for the Westgate subdivision by a 5-0 vote during Monday’s meeting.
By approving the recommendation from its planning commission, the city commission agreed that once the developer, RCCB, LLC, installs streets, a water-distribution system, a sanitary-sewer collection system and a storm-drainage system, the care and upkeep will fall under the city’s purview to maintain those infrastructure elements.
Prior to the vote, Nicholasville attorney Elizabeth Darby, representing RJ Corman Real Estate LLC, attempted to provide commissioners and the mayor with document outlining her clients stance against the public improvements, but attorney David Marshall, representing RCCB, sharply objected to Darby’s actions.
“These exhibits, whatever they are, are intended to supplement a record that was previously made before the planning commission,” Marshall said.
City attorney Bill Arvin agreed.
“If this is from a public hearing and you’re trying to interject new information, I think the record should be closed on that,” Arvin said.
Darby said that her client simply wanted to make sure the commission knew about both sides of the issue.
“There are two different issues addressed in my letter,” Darby said. “One involves the actual design and construction of the public improvements. The letter also addresses the procedural deficiencies that we are objecting to when the planning commission, two weeks ago, made the recommendation (to the city commission) to accept the public improvements. We are asserting that it wasn’t done in accordance with subdivision regulations.”
Darby also said the subdivision is currently tied up in litigation, and if the city accepted the public-improvements recommendation, those elements may have to be removed at a later date if a judge ruled in favor of her client.
Marshall advised Arvin that there were no stays in the court proceedings at this time. Afterward, the city attorney advised the commission and the mayor of their options.
“When you have these administration hearings, there’s a record made,” Arvin said. “When it comes to you guys, you don’t normally have another hearing; you can review the record if you want to see if there was a mistake or error on the part of the administrative body, but it’s not up to you all to receive new information and conduct a hearing.
“You’re not to entertain any new evidence because that’s bad — wrong. That’s why I was interrogating Ms. Darby, to find out just exactly what this is. It seems to me like they’ve already had the (public) hearing.”
Commissioners Doug Blackford and Pete Sutherland asked Arvin if the city could be liable for the infrastructure it had installed if a judge ruled in favor of RJ Corman.
“I don’t think the city would have any liability as far as the development is concerned,” Arvin said. “If it was done improper, (the developer) would have to come back and comply with whatever the court record might be.”
Prior the vote, Nicholasville planning director Greg Bohnett told the city commission that street name signs and street lights have not been installed. The signs have been ordered, and the lights will be installed once the electrical distribution system has been built by Blue Grass Energy. Bohnett also said the developer had submitted a cashier’s check to the city to cover the cost of those items.
Once the lights are installed, the city is responsible for paying the electric bill associated with those lights which is about $10 per light per month, Mayor Russ Meyer said.