The Westgate subdivision faces further opposition after an appeal was filed in Jessamine Circuit Court asking that court overrule a December 2012 decision by the Nicholasville Board of Adjustments to allow construction to continue.
The appeal, filed Jan. 9 by attorneys for R.J. Corman Real Estate, comes after the board of adjustments denied appeals by Corman to halt the building of homes at 101 and 104 Alley Run within Westgate subdivision.
The appeals brought before the board of adjustments asserted that the building permits for the two lots lacked a storm-water management plan, a landscaping agreement and a maintenance plan. The board of adjustments at its Dec. 10 meeting unanimously upheld the building permits, which were given to former Nicholasville planning commissioner and builder Shawn Murphy.
R.J. Corman Real Estate’s property adjacent to Westgate, of which 65 acres have been placed on the Kentucky Registry of Natural Areas and which includes part of Jessamine Creek, is downstream from the subdivision.
As such, the property will suffer erosion damage from the subdivision’s runoff, according to the newest appeal.
The appeal states that the board of adjustments was incorrect in its decision to allow building on the two lots, stating the board was told at that meeting that although applicable laws concerning storm-water management have changed significantly in recent years, the board, the administrative official who issues permits, and applicants for permits have “justified actions on the building permits at issue because, in essence, that is the way it has always been done in Nicholasville.”
Also, the board’s actions in upholding the permits violated Nicholasville city ordinances and zoning ordinances, violated Kentucky law, denied due process to R.J. Corman, and were “arbitrary and capricious,” according to the appeal.
Further, the appeal states that Nicholasville zoning ordinance requires that construction allowed by building permits be halted if those permits are appealed, and the board failed to do so.
The appeal is the latest in a long string of litigation. At least six lawsuits surround Westgate. A mini-plat for the development, which is located between R.J. Corman’s property and Rosenwald-Dunbar Elementary off Wilmore Road (Ky. 29), was approved by the planning commission in March 2012.
The various lawsuits involve increased traffic problems, decreasing property values and alleged damage to the protected wetlands.
Judge Hunter Daugherty, who presides over the multiple lawsuits, has already denied a motion to halt construction, which began in September. That ruling also is in appeal.
At the Nicholasville Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Monday, Jason Banks of Banks Engineering discussed a newly proposed sketch plat for Unit 1-B of the subdivision at the request of developer RCCB Property, LLC.
According to the plat, the unit, which comprises a little less than 13 and a half acres, will consist of 40 lots.
Lots are already being constructed, Banks said.
Board-of-adjustments and planning-commission attorney Bobby Gullette said construction should continue regardless of the pending lawsuits.
Litigation can take years, he said, and when one ends another can be filed.
“If you have a forceful enough opponent, then any development could be stopped,” he said. “There has been a proliferation of lawsuits. Are we going to have one or two lawsuits for each lot? I certainly hope we aren’t, but I can’t tell you we’re not.”
Gullette, who represents the planning commission in the lawsuits, said he believes not stopping construction is the “right track” to take, adding that he is sure attorney David Marshall, who represents RCCB owner Clay Corman (R.J. Corman’s uncle), RCCB, Banks Engineering, and SGM Homes, would agree.
“My personal feeling is that we should be with the applicant (for a building permit), to give him his day in front of this tribunal,” Gullette said.
The appeal, which has yet to be ruled on, asks Jessamine Circuit Court to reverse the action by the board of adjustments and to stay the building and other actions allowed by the building permits in question, among other requests.