Rejoining P&Z will be good for Junction City

Published 3:11 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2019


The Advocate-Messenger

Junction City continues to get closer to officially rejoining the Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission. It will be a good thing for everyone when it’s done and Boyle County has true county-wide zoning and building regulations once again.

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Junction City has been out of the P&Z Commission since 2011, due to disputes with how zoning regulations were enforced and whether they benefited Junction City.

When Junction City gained its independence from P&Z, city officials believed they could regulate their own land development and enforce the rules within its own borders.

But last year, a falling out with a developer shone a light on the confusing legal quagmire the city had landed in. P&Z Attorney Bruce Smith looked into the situation and said Junction City didn’t have authority to enforce zoning regulations because it doesn’t have its own P&Z commission.

“Everyone thought there were subdivision regulations in Junction City; turns out, there’s nothing,” P&Z Director Steve Hunter said in October. “… There’s no oversight, there’s no acceptance process. The developer’s not bound by anything.”

Mayor Jim Douglas, who advocated for leaving P&Z before, has led the push with Hunter to rejoin. Junction City Council followed their lead and decided last year it would pursue rejoining P&Z.

The council has now sent letters to the other governments in P&Z, asking to rejoin. Perryville City Council approved of that idea just last week. Other governments are expected to follow suit.

Once Junction is accepted back, leaders will still need to work on crafting P&Z regulations for the city that everyone is OK with. With Junction back in, the opportunity arises for the city to revamp its future land use map and zoning in the same way Perryville did last year.

There’s still much to do, but in the end, it will be a very good thing that Junction rejoined P&Z.

People interested in moving to Junction City can have confidence they’re buying property that has been developed properly.

Leaders will be able to designate targeted areas for development, helping attract potential businesses.

Property owners will have recourse to protect themselves from potentially harmful developments.

The legal haze will clear, and a fresh, new day of progress and growth will arrive.