After closed sessions, ‘homework to do’ for Junction, P&Z

Published 6:19 am Saturday, October 6, 2018

Junction City and the Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission held closed sessions this week under the exception to Kentucky’s Open Meetings Act for discussions of “proposed or pending litigation.”

Junction City Mayor Jim Douglas attended the P&Z closed session Wednesday morning, which also included P&Z Director Steve Hunter and P&Z attorney Bruce Smith. No action was taken following the closed session concerning litigation.

Junction City Council went into its 30-minute executive session Thursday evening, holding the meeting at a local Catholic church since the community center was booked for a party. The meeting included the full city council, as well as Hunter.

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Afterward, Mayor Jim Douglas said no action was taken. Hunter said after the meeting, “We have our homework to do.”

Before the meeting, via phone, Douglas was asked if the executive session was related to recent issues with a “faulty” plat filed for the Shelby Green subdivision by local attorney and developer Tom Hensley, and if there was a suit pending regarding the matter.

“I better not say,” Douglas responded.

Previously, Douglas made it known he was furious the plat was able to be filed, since it did not include a signature for Junction City, which is required on all Junction City plats since the city removed itself from P&Z years ago. The original plat shows the box with verbiage requiring Junction City’s signature; the plat filed in the Boyle County Clerk’s Office does not show such a box.

Council members have measured roads in the subdivision and say they’re not 20 feet wide as required. Instead, they say the roads measure 19 feet wide from curb to curb, a substantial difference from most of the other roads in the subdivision, which measure 24 feet wide.

Council members have said the streets might not be wide enough to allow emergency vehicles to travel without issues. Because council members view the plat as “fraudulent,” they may not accept the roads into the city system, meaning new homeowners on those roads would not receive some city services.

P&Z Director Hunter has said this is an unprecedented situation, given the unique situation of Junction City no longer operating under the umbrella of the P&Z Commission.

Douglas also made it known that he and Hensley have had a contentious relationship, at best, and attributed it to the fact they are both developers in the city. The mayor said Hensley accused him of not signing the plat for “personal gain,” because Douglas also owns a subdivision in the city with open lots.

Hensley had previously sent a letter to Mayor Douglas on his firm’s letterhead — Hensley and Smith, Attorneys at Law — saying he had “been retained by Shelby Green, LTD, A Kentucky Corporation, to represent it.” He warned Douglas that, “If in the future you interfere with the lawful Business of Shelby Green, LTD, lot owners, homeowners, contractors, home builders, doing business in the City of Junction, Shelby Green, LTD, will file a Civil Action in the U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.”

However, the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office said Shelby Green LTD was an inactive corporation, and had been dissolved by the state because it did not file its 2017 annual report. Only Hensley and Floyd Van Cook are listed as being associated with the now-dissolved company.