The murky wording in the county ordinance prohibiting gated communities in Jessamine County has been causing a headache for the magistrates on the fiscal court for the past several months.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, Ted Smith, a representative from Renaissance Run in the northern section of the county, appeared before the court to oppose a motion made July 31 requiring his community to tear down its gate.
After Smith made an impassioned case in its defense, the fiscal court reached a unanimous agreement that the “decorative grill” of Renaissance Run would not have to be taken down as long as he followed a set of conditions within the next 30 days.
Smith started by saying that when the road of the subdivision was taken in by the city, the gates were already there — nearly five years ago.
Smith also stated that the gates are nonoperational and they have not been closed and do not close for any reason.
“We are not a gated community,” Smith said.
He claimed permission to build the “gates” was given by Jessamine County/City of Wilmore Joint Planning Commission attorney Bruce Smith.
“In my eyes, I do not recognize Bruce Smith as having any authority,” magistrate George Dean said. “He is there in an advisory role.”
Ted Smith said he also felt that his community was being dragged into the dispute between Harrods Ridge and East Cambridge and the operational gate that separates those two communities.
Over the past several months, the community of Harrods Ridge has been petitioning the fiscal court to have the East Cambridge gates removed, citing both traffic and safety issues.
Magistrate Terry Meckstroth and Dean were appointed by Judge-Executive Neal Cassity to look into that matter and have met with both communities in hopes of coming to a resolution.
A conclusion has not been reached in that matter. But Meckstroth is the magistrate representative for the area in which Renaissance Run is located, and he is also the one who made the initial motion in July to have its gate removed.
“There’s a lot more information now,” Meckstroth said.
Meckstroth was referring to the testimony presented by Smith on Tuesday night about the gate’s inoperability.
Dean, however, was not convinced and said if something were to happen that the gates could be closed.
Smith did not dispute there may be a possibility of that happening but said he was willing to weld the hinges and make it an impossibility.
County Attorney Brian Goettl said Smith was making some good points in his argument to keep the “gate” but that the stand-offs could become a liability to the county and/or impede an emergency vehicle’s right-of-way into the community.
Goettl asked Smith if he would be willing to move those back further from the road, and if so he would recommend to the court to allow the “decorative grill” to remain.
Smith said he thought those were acceptable terms, and Meckstroth made the motion to allow him 30 days to meet those conditions. He also offered to be the go-between for Renaissance Run and the fiscal court and to made the motion to rescind the July 31 motion after the conditions were met.