Danville plans annexation to aid distillery project

Published 8:25 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Danville City Commission took two of three steps needed to annex property along Lebanon Road into city limits, in anticipation of a new distillery business that could locate on the land.

City Commissioners unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that would annex approximately 142 acres of land on Lebanon Road across from Alum Springs Cross Pike. And they approved a resolution extending water and sewer service onto the property.

City Attorney Stephen Dexter said the annexation needs to be completed prior to the next Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission in early December.

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The P&Z Commission will consider a zone change request for the property at that meeting that would allow for a proposed distillery business to locate on the land, which is adjacent to the existing Wilderness Trail Distillery property.

According to a letter being sent to adjoining property owners, the Boyle County Industrial Foundation has applied for the zone change from agricultural-residential (AR) to industrial business development (IBD).

A map of the plans for the land includes a “presentation center and office” with parking spaces at the entrance off of Lebanon Road. Behind that, there would be a “distillery” with its own parking lot and 17 “rickhouses,” warehouses that are used to store barrels of alcoholic drinks as they age. The map also notes an “access road to Wilderness Trail Distillery” as part of the plan.

No company name for the distillery is identified on the documents, which were obtained from P&Z by The Advocate-Messenger.

Dexter said Monday night the project has a codename with the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership of “Project Angel.”

A second reading of the ordinance annexing the land is expected at today’s special called “retreat” meeting of the city commission, being held on Centre College’s campus.

Commissioner Kevin Caudill asked Dexter when there’s an annexation, “what’s in it for the city?”

“The short answer is: A lot,” Dexter responded.

This particular annexation brings the possibility of added jobs; improvements to the land that would increase property values and subsequent property taxes; and payroll taxes from people working at the new business, Dexter said. The landowner would benefit by being able to take advantage of city services — water, sewer, police and fire.

Dexter said there is one unique aspect of the agreement to extend water and sewer services to the property: Normally, both services must be extended at the same time, but in this case, the city is allowing water to be built “right off the bat” and sewer to be built later.

“Sewer will be developed as soon as practical, but within five years,” he said.

The customer, not the city, will pay for installation of the new water and sewer lines, Dexter said.

“This project is an example of efficiency and cooperation between the Industrial Foundation, the Economic Development Partnership and the City of Danville to work not only quickly, but efficiently to come up with an agreement that says, ‘we’re open for business,'” Dexter said. “You should know that the process has never been as easy or as smooth as it was for this project.”

“We like that,” Mayor Mike Perros said.