The Planning Commission recently announced its intention to hold the Public Hearing on the Comprehensive Plan in September.
Why it’s important: Securing appropriate language in the Comprehensive Plan is important to protecting Clark County from Industrial Solar and promoting responsible growth.
The Comprehensive Plan is our community’s guide to future growth and development. It is the basis for land-use regulations and also helps to inform strategic and budgeting decisions made by local government. It affects all of us.
Public input is a key component of any Comprehensive Plan. Since the update process began in October 2022, there have been many opportunities for citizens to help shape the plan, including input sessions, large-format workshops and break-out groups.
The process has been led by an Advisory Committee comprised of 18 local citizens. These committee members represent a broad range of interests, including Winchester Municipal Utilities, the Industrial Development Authority, the Tourism Commission, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Clark County Schools, BCTC, Clark County Community Services, Clark Regional Hospital, the Building Industry, and the Agriculture, Banking and Real Estate sectors.
Additional support has been provided by a consultant, Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group of Louisville, and local planning staff.
Clark Coalition has followed this process closely. In addition to attending all of the Advisory Committee meetings, Clark Coalition has submitted research and data, including two studies that we commissioned: a Cost of Community Services Study and a Study on Under-utilized and Vacant Land which shows 14,000+ of under-utilized land inside our current planning boundary. We have done this to promote smart, fiscally-responsible growth that benefits all of Clark County’s citizens...now and in the future.
We have also promoted opportunities for public input – submitting multiple community news briefs that have been published in the Winchester Sun; announcements via the Chamber of Commerce email blasts; and numerous social media notices and paid advertisements.
In January, Clark Coalition issued a position statement in response to two proposals: the first which would have allowed Industrial Solar in the Agricultural Zone, and the second, which would have converted 2,000 acres of mostly agricultural land to sprawling Planned Development on the edge of the county. Notably, these proposals were not supported by research or public input.
After much consideration, and in response to the data and public input, the Advisory Committee determined that the proposals to allow solar and sprawl were not in the public interest.
The next step will be the Planning Commission’s Public Hearing on the proposed revisions to the Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Commission will then forward its recommendation on the Plan’s Goals & Objectives to the City Commission and Fiscal Court for adoption.
We will provide an update when the date and location of the Public Hearing have been confirmed.
We would like to thank the members of the Advisory Committee for their time and considerable effort in working to update the Comprehensive Plan:
William Baker, Christy Bush, Larry Disney (Chairman), Deborah Garrison, Rosalinda Gay, Shelby Gill, Sarah Glenn (Vice Chair), Gary Hess, Tom Hutchens, Tim Janes, Bruce Manley, Brandi Peacher, Bill Sharp, Tish Shupe, Janna Smith, Jordan Smith, Nancy Turner and Heather Woolwine.