Perryville land use forum succeeds

Published 9:01 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Dear Editor,

An unprecedented “town hall” planning event took place in Perryville on Thursday. It was hosted by Mayor Anne Sleet and the city’s council, along with Boyle County Planning and Zoning Director Steve Hunter.  Community leaders and the public at large gathered to review and discuss innovative concepts of land use and economic development.

With no apparent record of such Planning and Zoning sessions in the past, Director Hunter followed up on several meetings with Mayor Sleet and the Perryville City Council. Poster-sized maps, with smaller versions available to public attendees, were unveiled. The old plan-in-place, restrictive in nature, revealed inflexible concepts for the historic community in western Boyle County. A groundbreaking new approach, with supporting maps and criteria was explained to all in attendance by Director Hunter.

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Rigid concepts of building and land use were immediately evident on the existing plan. Following early input from the town council, Planning and Zoning brought new and visionary ideas to the table. Under the old plan, once restrictive supporting language often blunted business and personal property development.  Flexibility is imbedded in the prospective plans.  For example, multi-use structures would now be encouraged. One land owner already investing in Perryville’s growth spoke directly about his concept for lots he hopes to develop. Under the existing plan, it would have been difficult at best to receive Planning and Zoning approval.

This region of Boyle County, all too often overlooked today, played a key role in settling Kentucky. Then, it endured one of our nation’s darkest times at the Perryville Battlefield. Through their exhaustive efforts, Mayor Anne Sleet and city council members, along with Planning and Zoning Director Steve Hunter are today enhancing Perryville’s role in Boyle County and our commonwealth’s future.

Perryville is unique in its historical significance. With growth over time, exceptional examples of 19th century architecture, in close proximity to the nationally acclaimed Civil War battlefield will be showcased when final plans are adopted.  

And most importantly, tourism and other examples of economic development will breathe renewed life in our “jewel in the crown” of Boyle County.

Tom Ellis