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A Public Hearing --Boone County Planning Commission
Boone County Planning Commission
Boone County Administration Building
March 3, 1999
Commission Members Present: Mrs. Arnett - Secretary/Treasurer, Mr. Brown, Mr. Caddell - Chairman, Mr. Damstrom - Vice Chairman, Mr. Hicks - Temporary Presiding Officer, Mr. Knock, Mr. McMillian, Mr. Newman, Mr. Ries, Mr. Rush, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Viox, Mr. White, and Mrs. Wilson.
Staff Members Present: Mr. Kevin Costello, AICP - Executive Director, Ms. Jan Hancock - Secretary
Mr. Arnold Caddell, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.. Following an explanation of the Public Hearing process, the Chairman introduced the first item on the Agenda:
2. Applicant: Answers in Genesis (agent authorized by owner)
Request: Zoning Map Amendment
The request of Answers in Genesis (agent authorized by owner) to consider a Zoning Map Amendment from Rural Suburban Estates (RSE) to Public Facilities (PF) for an approximate 47-acre tract along the east side of Deck Lane and Bullittsburg Church Road, and along the south side of I-275, Boone County, Kentucky. The request is for a zone change to permit a museum, religious assembly, office, mail order operation, picnic areas, ornamental monuments, storage and small loading dock.
Mr. Kevin Costello, AICP, Executive Director, presented the Staff Report which included a slide presentation (see Staff Report).
The Chairman asked for the applicant’s presentation.
(Prior to the start of the meeting, the applicant distributed to the Commissioners a binder entitled “Answers in Genesis”, and provided a copy for the record—see Exhibit 1).
Attorney Tim Theissen, representing Answers in Genesis, stated that he would cut short portions of his presentation as Staff had done a thorough job. He stated that ten of the fifteen Commissioners have already heard from Answers in Genesis. Answers in Genesis first came before the Planning Commission in 1996, and again last year. He stated that he would make his presentation thorough enough for the five new members of the Planning Commission to follow along.
Mr. Theissen stated that Answers in Genesis originally came in to ask for a zone change on property on U.S. 42. The Planning Commission voted in favor, but it was turned down by Fiscal Court. Answers in Genesis wants to be in Boone County and began a series of communications with Fiscal Court and the Planning Commission Staff to try to determine what site they should look for in the county. He stated that there is a good airport here, and it is an eight to ten hour drive from 60% to 70% of the population. He stated that they do seminars in cities and they fly in and out a lot, as well as traveling to different cities to do their ministry. He has been representing Answers in Genesis the last few months. They had communications with Fiscal Court and the Planning Commission Staff and it was determined that the best zoning district for their intended uses is I-1. They looked throughout Boone County for areas zoned or planned for industrial uses to find a site that meets their needs. They want a site near the interstate with easy access to the airport. They settled on the subject site. He presented an exhibit of the Comprehensive Plan and stated that the industrial area at the interchange is shown in blue. They were able to get this site under contract. The site is close to the interchange and has about one-half mile of visibility from I-275 where the land is approximately the same topographical level as the road. He stated that they can build a nice looking building there and presented an artist’s rendering of the proposed building of masonry construction and glass. He stated that Answers in Genesis is well funded and it will be a nice building.
Mr. Theissen stated that Answers in Genesis came before the Planning Commission in 1998 and the Planning Commission recommended against their request. Fiscal Court did not conduct a Public Hearing—they had a brief meeting and voted to approve the Planning Commission’s recommendation to deny the zone change. He was then retained. His firm and a firm in Cincinnati filed suit, which is still pending. The new Fiscal Court took office in early January. In the meantime, there was discussion and meetings, which were attended by Counselor Wilson for the Boone County Planning Commission. He stated that Answers in Genesis does not want to pursue a lawsuit. He stated that there were a couple of zoning districts that would allow museums and offices, and it was suggested that a Public Facilities Zone would be more palatable to the Planning Commission, Fiscal Court, and the community. An agreement was entered into in court, called an “Agreed Order”, which puts the lawsuit on hold while application is made to go back through the zoning process and ask for the same property to be zoned Public Facilities in an effort to settle the lawsuit.
Mr. Theissen stated that Answers in Genesis is a 501C3 organization (a non-profit organization under the IRS code). They do not pay income taxes or property taxes, but their employees pay property taxes. Their organization is currently in the Florence Industrial Park and their employees pay Boone County payroll taxes. The organization is exempt from real estate taxes. The organization is a ministry and a religious organization, but it is not a church. They do not conduct services or have a large group of people arrive on Sunday morning. The use will be a museum, offices, and a small distribution center. Their money comes in from donations and the sale of tapes, books, and videos which propagate their beliefs. They are not a cult and do not hold seances, burnings, or mass suicides. They do not intend to conduct rallies on the site. They sometimes conduct seminars, but they go to a city and tens of thousands of people attend. This site in Boone County will not be used for rallies or seminars. The site will be their international headquarters and distribution facilities for books and records. They will not have large meeting rooms and will have a facility for a few hundred people at most.
Mr. Theissen presented the Development Plan for Answers in Genesis and stated that it is almost the same as the previous Development Plan with two changes: (1) Buffering and Landscaping - the 47 acres is more than enough land for their use and they are willing to do the landscaping and buffering to protect the adjacent property owners. They are showing the preservation of all the perimeter vegetation and will add trees in the breaks in the vegetation. They will buffer the adjacent neighbors to the south with vegetation wherever there are not enough trees now. There will be berming and trees to protect the Biedenbender home on Deck Lane; and (2) Southern Half of the Property: They planned passive recreation, but did not show it on the previous plan. They do not plan to build a gym or bleachers, but might have a gazebo and picnic table—temporary structures, not concrete foundations. They have put together a proposal of uses on the southern half of the property, including a toddler play area, volley ball courts, picnic area, ballfields, wildflower area along the southern border, and bark-type trails through the woods. He stated that the Development Plan is about what it was before, except that one building might be divided into two. He noted parking and a turn-around. He stated that the small loading dock is for no more than one truck at a time. They do not have a lot of truck traffic.
Mr. Theissen stated that they have hired an architect and designed the building. He presented an exhibit to show the intended uses inside the structure with the museum being 50% of the overall floor space. He stated that a lot of their presentations include large structures, such as dinosaurs. Twenty percent of the floor space will be the book store, and twelve percent will be children’s workshops and classrooms. They hope to attract people who home school their children. He stated that they currently employ about fifty people, and anticipate another ten once the facility is built, for a total of sixty employees. He noted the area for research library. The distribution and storage area is 9% of the floor area. He stated that they currently have a small storage garage where they store their books and video tapes—it is bigger than his house but it is not a huge warehouse. They will have a loading dock for one truck. He stated that there is a cell tower on the site. He noted that the new plan shows seven black squares, which are small concrete structures to make it feel like a museum. They are not at the entrance. Since the initial proposal, they have moved the access point off Deck Lane and onto Bullittsburg Church Road. They will not use Deck Lane for their access. He stated that the land is next to I-275 and the decibel level is in excess of 65—which is the cut off level for where you would normally want residential. At 65 decibels, you would probably have to do something to insulate for sound if you build a house there. Most people would not want to live right along I-275 with that decibel level.
Mr. Theissen referred to the Comprehensive Plan, and noted that most of this is covered in the Staff Report. He stated that the places where there will be active development on the site are shown in blue, which is industrial. The steep hillsides will be kept as trees and may have bark-type hiking trails. He indicated the area of the site that is Rural Lands, which is where the playfield and wildflower areas will be. They are not developing any active uses on the part of the site that is Rural Lands. He stated that the property is zoned Industrial and more than one place in the Comprehensive Plan shows it as Industrial. On Page 87, the Future Development Map in the Comprehensive Plan shows the site as Industrial. In the Goals and Objectives Element on Page 7 it talks about Industrial development being encouraged along and near interstates and railroads, and offices are suggested along major highways and interchanges—which is consistent with their proposal. If you get off the interstate, once you get to the end of the exit, it is less than three tenths of a mile to their site, and the ramp leaving the site is about two tenths of a mile away. He stated that this is the first exit from Indiana and the casinos. He stated that there is indication in the Comprehensive Plan that it may be appropriate in the future for this interchange to develop commercially, and there may be gambling or casino-type uses, shops with restaurants, and hotels. He referred to the exhibit and stated that on the other side of KY 8 is Commercial. He believes that the Comprehensive Plan where it talks about this interchange for commercial development and casino-type uses was referring to the other side of KY 8 as opposed to this side, which was proposed for Industrial. The section also says the development should not be accompanied with major sanitary sewer facilities that would commit the area to development. The Comprehensive Plan does not show this being another Florence or there being major development —but it does provide for development along the interchange. He stated that one of the primary Goals on Page 4 of the Comprehensive Plan is that future growth should be accompanied by adequate infrastructure and services. It does not say there has to be city sewer and water.
Mr. Theissen referred to the binder “Answers in Genesis”. He stated that the first section is about potable water. He stated that they will have a cistern. They have four options for drinking water on the site. They could build a well, build a roof drainage supply system, sanitize the lake water, or buy water from a water hauling company. There is a good possibility they may be able to get enough water on site to meet their needs and they will try to do a well first. They have done an analysis of the roof drainage supply system. He stated that on an annual basis, there would be 2,232,000 gallons of water per year. The estimated use on the site is 5,000 gallons per day, which is 1.8 million gallons per year. The next idea is the lake water being treated and made usable. He noted a letter in the binder from a water company in Erlanger confirming that they can provide water. He noted a list in the binder of fifteen developments that use cistern or well water. He noted information from Gretchen Bartley of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet (see Exhibit 2). He stated that there was concern about fire protection. They intend to use a sprinkler system that is pressured up and the water will be taken from the lake. There will be a hydrant that is sourced from the lake. He stated that in 1999, the Fire Department raised six questions in a letter. He noted that there is a letter in the binder from the Hebron Fire District saying that Answers in Genesis has tentatively answered those concerns. There is a letter from Dalmation regarding sprinkler systems from lakes and how they provide in the event of a power outage. Also in the binder is information showing how the pumps work. There is a letter from another pumping company (Harrington Group) confirming that the lake is a viable system for fire protection. There is an estimate done by Dwight Clayton regarding the capacity of the lake, which is just over five million gallons. He stated that the amount of water necessary to put out the entire 95,000 square foot building is less than one million gallons.
Mr. Theissen referred to Section 3 of the binder in regard to wastewater treatment. He stated that there are not city sewers, and they plan to build a treatment plant for 5,000 gallons per day. Answers in Genesis will pay Sanitation District #1 to take over the maintenance of the treatment plant. He stated that there is a letter from the state Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet saying that the 5,000 gallon treatment plant is satisfactory for the site. He stated that a package treatment plant has to have access to a blue line stream and there is a blue line stream on the far right hand side of the site. They will not need an easement. The letter confirms that potable water can be supplied. He stated that there is a letter from Vitech, which builds and installs package treatment plans. The author of the letter, Greg Brown, is present. He stated that the letter says that it is a favorable site for a package treatment plan and the stream it will go into is satisfactory. The letter talks about the property having access to a blue line stream. Answers in Genesis will not need to install holding talks because they have treatment plant capabilities. He stated that there is a FAX from the Sanitation District that says they will not put sewer lines in in the reasonable near future, so building a package treatment plant is a reasonable alternative. The last page of Section 3 shows existing Boone County developments on package treatment plants. These development are larger than Answers in Genesis. He stated that there are about one hundred package treatment plants operating in Boone County today. He has verified that sixteen are at least as large or larger than Answers in Genesis. He stated that a 5,000 gallon plant is not a large plant.
Mr. Theissen referred to Section 4 of the binder in regard to traffic. He stated that an employee of Answers in Genesis’ distribution facility will talk about traffic. Mr. Theissen stated that almost all of their traffic is cars and there is very little truck traffic. He noted a Technical Memorandum from Neil Freschman, a traffic engineer with Dwight Clayton Company dated March 2, 1999, as well as a memorandum from June 17, 1998 when the request came before the Planning Commission the last time. That memorandum was based on book data—but there was not a museum in the book, so he used a library. A library has more traffic than this use, so the March 2, 1999 memorandum is a more realistic projection of the traffic. He referred to a map in the binder which projects that KY 8 after the development would have about 4,105 vehicles per day with the Answers in Genesis traffic. Bullittsburg Church Road would have 1,600 cars per day (average daily traffic). He referred to the last page of Section 4 and a list of existing two-lane roads similar to Bullittsburg Church Road that have comparable pavement widths. He stated that a lot of those roads have in excess of 10,000 cars per day. On Bullittsburg Church Road, there will be 1,600 cars per day after the development, and on KY Route 8 there will be 4,105 cars per day. He stated that Mr. Freschman’s report concluded that it will still be an “A” road—top quality road capacity. He referred to Section 5 of the binder and a memorandum from Jim Key saying that at the request of Fiscal Court, Dwight Clayton sat down with him and he found that water supply, potable water, and fire protection were satisfactory.
Mr. Theissen submitted petitions that have been accumulated by Answers in Genesis over the last three months. He stated that they contain 2,670 signatures, of which 910 are Boone County residents (see Exhibit 3). The petitions are in favor of the request. He stated that a lot of letters have been written to Fiscal Court and of the 562 letters supporting this development, 136 were from the tri-state area.
Mr. Theissen referred to the Staff Report. He stated that he does not know that there is a definition of active versus passive recreation. They do not intend to build a stadium or gymnasium or structures on the south side of the property. He referred to Page 6 of the Staff Report and stated that Deck Lane has been upgraded by the county and Deck Lane will remain access to only one residence. They have moved their access off Deck Lane. He noted that the Staff Report mentions minimum 28 foot pavement width and stated that if you measure the pavement of a lot of roads on the list, you will not find many that are 28 feet wide. Normally on a 28-foot wide street there is parking on one side. In most cases, standard 11-foot wide lanes are adequate for the type of traffic they have. He would like to discuss this issue with the Committee.
Mr. Theissen introduced Mr. Mike Zovath, General Manager of Answers in Genesis; Mr. Greg Brown with Vitech; Mr. Kurt Streutker who will discuss traffic from the distribution facility; and Mr. Dwight Clayton. He stated that there are others present from Answers in Genesis who can also answer questions.
Mr. Knock asked Mr. Theissen to explain a 501C Corporation and what taxes they pay.
Mr. Theissen stated that a 501C Corporation goes through process with the IRS where they qualify to be non-profit. They do not pay federal or state income taxes on money that comes into the company. They are exempt from federal income taxes. They do not pay property taxes. Their employees pay taxes.
Mr. Knock asked if there are balance sheets available.
Mr. Theissen responded that Answers in Genesis is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), which does the accounting and audit work for non-profit organizations to make sure they are run properly. They are required to make public their financial statements, which can be reviewed at their office.
Mr. Knock asked if Answers in Genesis is managed by another organization. Are all of their employees paid directly from Answers in Genesis, or are they a managed company?
Mr. Theissen responded that they are an independent company with their own Board of Directors. All of the employees are paid by Answers in Genesis and are not employees of any other organization.
Mr. Mike Zovath, General Manager of Answers in Genesis, stated that he is in charge of day-to-day operations of the ministry. He believes this is a good compromise plan that answers all of the questions that have come up in the last eight months regarding the rezoning process. He stated that they can provide adequate infrastructure for the project in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan. They are committed to a quality development and want to provide an innovation, educational, and recreational attraction to the county. They feel that the project will enhance the quality of life in the area. As a ministry, they have a higher standard than mere zoning regulations or building codes. It will be a first class quality project.
Mr. Greg Brown, President of Vitech, stated that he is a Kentucky registered engineer who manufactures, designs, and builds wastewater treatment plants. He stated that all facilities are governed and reviewed by the Division of Water. He stated that the 5,000 gallon per day design criteria is conservative. He stated that they are looking at a warehousing and low foot traffic museum type facility. He stated that the total daily flow would be collected and evenly administered for an effluent discharge rate of 3.5 gallons per minute. In his estimation, as well as that of Gretchen Bartley, with the over 1,500 foot distance in the stream basins to the blue line stream, the impact on the environment would be non-realizable. He stated that a blue line stream is a type of stream that has a characteristic of never going dry and having suitable velocity. In this situation, the receiving stream would be one to three feet deep and 15 to 25 feet wide, high organic content, and no additional loading. This stream is capable of handing 3.5 gallons of effluent.
Mr. Kurt Streutker, an employee of Answers in Genesis in the mail order department, stated that he processes orders that come in, which is about 80 a day. They have one UPS truck that comes each day, which is the same type of truck that comes to someone’s house. They may have one or two Federal Express trucks a week. They have two or three semis that drop off a pallet of books, or they load things on them sometimes.
At this time, the Chairman called for a short recess.
At 9 PM, the Chairman reconvened the meeting and asked if the applicant’s presentation was concluded.
Mr. Theissen responded “yes”.
Chairman Caddell stated that public comments would be taken at this time. He asked those speaking to come to the microphone and state their name and address. Comments are to be addressed to the Chair. He asked those who agree with the comments made by others to say they agree and not be redundant. Mr. Costello began calling names from the sign up sheets, beginning with Pastor Charles Wagner.
Pastor Charles Wagner, 15848 Teal Road, Verona, stated that he is Pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Covington. One of their members is Ken Hamm, and they have other people who work for Answers in Genesis. He can vouch for their integrity and faithfulness. Ten years ago, he was affiliated with a college in Michigan and Ken Hamm and Answers in Genesis came to their Science Department and lectured faithfully. He can vouch for them.
Mr. Paul Braun, 15 Sanders Drive, Florence, agreed with Pastor Wagner. He feels that Mr. Theissen and the consultants did a more than adequate job of addressing the issues. He asked that the request be endorsed.
Mr. Tim Laughlin, 14 Raintree Drive, Melbourne, Kentucky, stated that he, his wife, and their four children are looking forward to this exposure in the Northern Kentucky area to balance some of the more negative things that have come into the area. He stated that his brother moved from California to work for Answers in Genesis.
Ms. Patsy Ligon, a resident of 2963 Bullittsburg Church Road for 31 years, stated that she is for the request. She stated that from I-275 to the entrance of this facility, there is only one home.
Brenda McCourt, 6262 Stewart Avenue, Cincinnati, stated that a lot of people in the Cincinnati area will come to see this museum and spend money. It will be an asset to the community.
Reverend Cliff J. Ravenscraft, 4974 Petersburg Road, Pastor of the Church of the Nazarene and a licensed insurance man, stated that he lives a mile from the site and is for Answers in Genesis. He stated that there were concerns at some of the public hearings that Answers in Genesis may start their project and run out of money. He stated that Answers in Genesis is a member of the ECFA, which is nearly impossible to get in if you do not have integrity in finances. They are audited yearly. They have the financial ability to put up the appropriate landscaping to provide privacy for the neighbors. He is 100% behind this.
Mr. Glenn Schmitt, 5800 Vice Lane, Burlington, stated that he and his wife and four children are excited about the project. It would be a wonderful family and educational opportunity. He stated that it cost $5 million to develop the exhibits and prepare them. They will have a 54-foot long fish people can walk through and a 14’ x 26’ human cell, as well as life size fossils and minerals. They will have touch screen computers. They have made an investment to bring something nice to this area, which will give us something unique. He believes people from Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky will come. He supports the application.
Sharon Smith, 2587 Bethlehem Lane, Hebron, lives about four miles from the site. She is excited to have some place to take her children that is God based and Bible based.
Ms. Bennie Hopius, 4923 Woolper Road, agreed with the others. She is a member of Bullittsburg Baptist Church and Answers in Genesis will make a good neighbor to her church.
Mr. Mark Truebenbach, 11500 Victory Schoolhouse Road, stated that he has been a part of developing youth and family ministry in Boone County. He stated that reasonable men and women can work out all of the issues. He found through the presentation that it became a win-win situation. The applicant has offered an opportunity to do what is right.
Mr. Joseph Owen, 46 Amherst Drive, Erlanger, lives less than a mile from the present facility. He read a letter written by Richard and Susan Merkle, 206 Buckingham Drive, Florence, in support of the application. Mr. and Mrs. Merkle could not be present this evening. They feel that Answers in Genesis has worked honestly and sincerely to find a good location that fits the Boone County Land Use Plan. They have visited the site and see no conflict with the existing land use. Their family would use the facility and they feel that a museum would be an asset to the community (see Exhibit 4).
Mr. Robert Wheeler, a resident of 4275 Burlington Pike for over 25 years, wishes his six children could have visited a museum like this. He asked that the necessary permits be granted to get the project started.
Carol Downey, 38 Carriage Hill, Kenton County, works for a major Boone County hotel and tries to bring business to the area. She has a good rapport with the Christian community and this use would be a selling tool for her to book guest rooms. She stated that everybody pays the 4.24% tax whether it is a Christian organization or not.
Pat Moran, 3243 Ridgetop Way, Erlanger, has visited the site and toured with Ken Hamm. He stated that the presentation did a outstanding job showing how the building would fit there and, with the exception of the house on Deck Lane, the other neighbors will not see the building due to the hills and trees. Most of the neighbors can see the cell tower, and it ruins their view more than anything Answers in Genesis can build. He attends Calvary Baptist Church in Covington and has had dinner with Ken Hamm and his family. He is privileged to know them. He is excited to take his family to a museum that supports the Christian view of creation. He stated that if the opponents are allowed to talk about religious viewpoints, then the proponents want rebuttal time to debate the religious issues.
Pastor Mike Jones did not respond when called.
Mr. David Jolly, 1252 Farmcrest Drive, Union, stated that he is a staff member of Answers in Genesis. He stated that the employees are not tax exempt and he pays property taxes in Boone county. A number of other staff members have relocated from other states. He presented a statement from Oakbrook resident David Krigler (see Exhibit 5). Mr. Krigler says that very little traffic will be added to the Idlewild area. Most of the traffic will come from the interstate and will pass very few homes. He will bring his friends to the museum.
Mr. Larry Kunkel, 10989 Big Bone Church Road, Union, is in favor of the use because it will be educational to him and to his family. He questioned how many factories in the county would include a wildflower area, picnic tables, volleyball courts, and recreational areas that are open to the public. They will save the tax payers a lot of money by not being federally or state owned.
Mr. Dan Aylor, 11050 Big Bone Church Road, has been a resident of Boone County all his life. He supports Answers in Genesis and agrees with the comments made by the others. He asked that the zone change be granted.
Mr. Joe Anglin, 10403 Big Bone Church Road, Boone County, stated that he has been a resident for 36 years. He recommends Answers in Genesis as a family-oriented place to take his family. He stated that he is a member of Big Bone Baptist Church and Ken Hamm came to them in January and went over everything.
Linda Barton, 2416 Anderson Road, Crescent Springs, stated that she owns property in Boone County which fronts on KY 20 and an arm of the property goes over to the intersection where Answers in Genesis will be. When they bought the property, they were concerned that the Industrial zoning would create an area they would not like to see when they build a house on their property. They are pleased that Answers in Genesis is proposing to go there because they would prefer to see a museum rather than a factory.
Mr. Ron Stinson, Pastor of Big Bone Baptist Church, 2616 Bullittsburg Church Road, stated that their church is on the opposite side of I-275 from the proposed Answers in Genesis site. Their church has spearheaded a movement in their area about the zoning. Their church has been there for 205 years. They have been opposed to underground mining and their members are concerned about the area. They are not opposed to change, but they did not want to open the area up to underground mining. They were concerned about the Industrial zoning, but Answers in Genesis was not responsible for the I-1 zoning. He stated that the proposal for Public Facilities zoning is an asset to them and they welcome it.
Mr. Bill Krantz, 4 Sassafras, stated that he is a Boone County real estate agent. He and his family support Answers in Genesis and their project. He stated that the property has been in the multiple listing system for over three years and advertised for sale with a four-foot sign on I-275 that was visible to thousands of cars every week. Answers in Genesis was the first purchasing prospect to come up with an offer suitable to the seller. They bought the property at current market value.
Mr. Mark Franco, 2645 Clifton Avenue, stated that he is a student at U.C. and can attest to the high interest in this project. He stated that a lot of people from U.C. will come to the museum. He supports the request.
Courtney Jung, 102 East 8th Street, Covington, stated that if she were growing up in Burlington, she would appreciate something nearby to go to rather than going to the cities. She would like to be employed by Answers in Genesis.
Mr. Mark Looy, 8430 Woodcreek Drive, stated that he works for Answers in Genesis. He stated that Pastor Dunn has the flu and asked him to read his letter (see Exhibit 6). He stated that the letter says that Answers in Genesis is a reputable Bible-preaching ministry beyond reproach and there is wide acceptance of Answers in Genesis in the area. A phone poll conducted by The Post had 95% response in favor of the museum. The project fits with the Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use Map, and Zoning Regulations and they stand behind Answers in Genesis. Mr. Looy also submitted a resolution from the Ohio Valley Baptist Association in support of Answers in Genesis and its creation museum (see Exhibit 7).
This completed testimony from those who signed slips in opposition to the request. The Chairman asked if there was anyone else present who wished to speak in favor of the request.
Mr. Kurt Streutker, 7793 Bridgegate Court, Florence, stated that he came from California to work for a ministry he believed in highly. He wants to see this ministry in Boone County to effectively proclaim the truth of creation.
Mr. Rick Wood, 6169 Maple Ridge Drive, Taylor Mill, stated that he is a graphic designer and illustrator and has worked with people at Answers in Genesis. He stated that there could be no better neighbor than Answers in Genesis—they are congenial and honest.
Judge David Grossman (retired) stated that he was presiding Judge of Hamilton County Juvenile Court for many years. He is acquainted with Answers in Genesis. They are a highly professional group, extremely well operated, and of high integrity. He cannot think of anything better to help the problems of children—which is something he has spent his life addressing. He supports the request and has many friends and contacts who also support this work.
Mike Carney, 2906 Damascus Road, Hebron, stated that he works for the Boone County Board of Education. He agrees with what has been said and supports Answers in Genesis. He asked the Planning Commission not to penalize Answers in Genesis for being a non-profit organization and to give them equal consideration.
Mr. Kelly King, a resident of Erlanger, stated that he has a house under construction in Boone County. He stated that as a non-profit organization, there will be some tax base loss, but he is more than happy to pay extra taxes. He does not think 47 acres of land out of tax production is a bad idea because of all the benefit to the community. He stated that people will come to the area and stay at the hotels, which will be a gain.
There being no one else present who wished to speak in favor of the request, the Chairman asked for comments from those who signed slips in opposition to the request, beginning with Ron Brady.
Mr. Ron Brady, 2947 Bullittsburg Church Road, stated that he is opposed to the request. He moved to his home twelve years ago, and it is secluded and quiet. He stated that the land could be used for houses. Bullittsburg Church Road has potholes and the shoulders are slipping away. They can hardly drive up the ramp because of the traffic, and any more traffic out there will not help them.
Mr. Tom Roberts, 3175 Roberts Lane, Burlington, lives one-half to three quarters of a mile from the property in question. He has a problem with the traffic in the area and it has not been properly addressed. He referred to the 1,600 anticipated cars per day and asked how many will be going towards the south to KY 20. He stated that anyone on the south side of the area will most likely not use I-275, they will use KY 20—which is curvy with a lot of blind areas. You have to pull out on KY 20 from Bullittsburg Church Road to see if you are going to get hit before you get out. The traffic will be a nightmare and the roads out there are not good. The residents are having a hard time getting in and out of their driveways because of the excess traffic. In regard to tax money and money being brought into Boone County, he feels that people coming from Cincinnati and around the area will go to this facility and go right back out of state. He does not think there will be a lot of income from this facility. He is opposed.
Vanessa Wiechers, 4052 Petersburg Road, stated that their property is adjacent to property that is adjacent to this site. She and her husband are opposed to any rezoning of this area. They moved there twelve years ago and that land was Residential Suburban Estates and the only way it could be change was if there was infrastructure—and there is not. There is no water and no sewer. The residents voted down water and sewer. She stated that they want the rural life style. She thinks a museum would be wonderful, but she has a problem with this tract of land that is zoned Residential. She wants her home to remain a lovely home in a rural area. She suggested that Planning & Zoning conduct a study and reassess what the residents in this area of western Boone County want. She has read in The Boone County Recorder that we want to preserve the western quadrant as a nature preserve and have industrial development in the east section. She stated that Answers in Genesis can have their museum in Florence, on I-75, or on land that is zoned Industrial. She stated that she has seen the stream dry in several areas and it is not three feet deep in all areas in the summer.
Ruth Tanner, a resident of 4949 Idlewild Bypass for 25 years, which is approximately one mile from the site, stated that there are obvious concerns of water, sewer, and traffic. She stated that there are many other areas in the county that have the infrastructure for this type of facility. She asked Planning & Zoning to study the interchange to determine the best use for this area. She and her husband are in favor of denying the zone change. She stated that it is essential that the conditions set by Planning & Zoning in the Fall of 1998 are met.
Debbie Cummings, 4062 Petersburg Road, stated that she and her husband are opposed to the zone change because there is no sanitation. She stated that the proposed wastewater treatment plant is a small plant that empties into Garrison Creek. She stated that Answers in Genesis is planning to build a public facility with a 322 vehicle parking lot. The sanitation plant is 5,000 gallons per day, which will accommodate 50 people in an institution or 160 people in a home. The plant at Kelly Elementary is three times the size plant Answers in Genesis is proposing, and Answers in Genesis could potentially have the same number of people as Kelly Elementary if the parking lot is full with cars with one person. She is concerned that the creek cannot accommodate a larger treatment plant. The stench is a concern. She stated that there is no water. They have tried to drill a well and so have their neighbors, but there is no water. They have a cistern and have been without water, especially when there is a decrease in rainfall. They may be without water for twelve hours until it is delivered. Water trucks will not deliver in inclement weather. She questioned how a public facility will function without water. She stated that Bullittsburg Church Road can only accommodate light traffic. She stated that there are signs at the end of Bullittsburg Church Road prohibiting truck traffic and 1,600 cars per day is too many. Keeping the land Residential Suburban Estates will generate tax money when it is developed. She questioned what could go in these buildings with no access to water or sanitation if Answers in Genesis were to relocate or go bankrupt. She asked if the building will be aluminum sided or brick. She stated that if the property is rezoned, they want conditions to preserve the rural character including: 1) That the rezoning be restricted to the 15 acres adjacent to I-275; 2) That everything in Office One and Public Facility be excluded, except museum, office space, and small warehouse; 3) That the museum be the primary use—not the distribution center; 4) That there be “NO TRUCK TRAFFIC” signs posted at the KY 20 entrance and the Answers in Genesis entrance; 5) That Sanitation District #1 operate and maintain the treatment plant; 6) That when sanitation comes to the area, Answers in Genesis be required to connect; 7) That the motors of the sanitation treatment plant be enclosed in a small building to eliminate noise; 8) That the treatment plant not expand as the area grows; and 9) That there be no animated walking trails, amphitheater, outside lights or PA system, no obtrusive signage, and height limits on signs and lighting. She questioned what kind of penalty would occur if the restrictions are violated. She stated that this is a beautiful area and one of the last areas of Boone County. It is the first exit people encounter from Indiana. They would like the KY 20 corridor studied. Mrs. Cummings submitted her comments (see Exhibit 8).
Aimee Boese, 5673 Petersburg Road, lives about two miles from the site and travels the interchange as often as six times a day. She stated that a Public Facilities Zone would seem better than the originally requested Industrial Zone—provided all the uses in PF O-1, other than the museum, are excluded; that the museum is the primary use, and office and warehouse space are solely to support the museum. She stated that the questions of water, sewer, and trafffic remain. She stated that 400 - 600 gravel trucks per day use the interchange, as well as the local residential traffic. Within the past week, there have been two accidents with injuries on KY 20. She stated that the past traffic study did not consider traffic coming down KY 20 past Bullittsburg Church Road, and it used a library for the traffic comparison. Mr. Theissen now says the traffic will be lighter than originally predicted, and she takes issue with that. She stated that Answers in Genesis has said on their web site and in media reports that they intend for the museum to be a national attraction—in which case it would be more fitting to compare the project to the Cincinnati Natural History and Science Museum. In 1998, the Science Museum (not the Children’s Museum or Omnimax) averaged 29,000 visitors per month—and in their biggest month 44,500 visitors. She stated that Answers in Genesis has proven they can attract people and drew 24,000 people to a seminar in Colorado. All it will take to make this a national attraction is marketing. School buses and tour buses will visit the museum. She stated that last time, Answers in Genesis agreed that their parking lot would be no larger than 350 spaces and parking would not be allowed on the grass or roadsides. What happens when car number 351 comes? She believes they will use this building for seminars. She stated that there must be a mechanism to prevent Answers in Genesis from hosting large events at this location. She stated that Staff told her that Public Facilities zoning will not protect them from mining any more than Suburban Residential Estates would.
Mary Brady, 2947 Bullittsburg Church Road, is concerned about the sewage, the size of the treatment plant, and the stench. She does not believe that a package treatment plant can totally eliminate the stench. She does not believe the 5,000 gallon treatment plant will be enough. She stated that the parking lot is for 350 cars, so you know there will be more than 350 people. She asked if the treatment plant will be contained. Will rain water run off from the parking lot and roof and into the treatment plant increasing the outflow into the creek? They want to make sure the Sanitation District does the inspections. They would like to see Bullittsburg Church Road from the interstate to the property to KY 20 stay off limits to the trucks. At the interchange, trucks and cars are driving at top speed to the interstate. Coming out of Bullittsburg Church Road, vehicles are rounding the curve on the bypass heading to I-275 and with this traffic from Petersburg, in can be dangerous pulling out—especially for unsuspecting visitors. She stated that Public Facilities zoning would be the best alternative for the area, but some restrictions need to be addressed. They would like to see only the museum, office space, and small warehouse on the fifteen acres; no bright lights, no PA system, no camping facilities; and that the change to Public Facilities be restricted to the fifteen acres. She stated that the 1995 Comprehensive Plan says the infrastructure needs to be in before any development. She stated that the Comprehensive Plan mentions Industrial zoning and 2020, so it is early for that. She asked how they can be guaranteed that the picture the applicant showed is all they are going to do on the property. If this organization is there ten or fifteen years from now, how can they be guaranteed that the things in the picture will still be the only things on the property?
Mr. Bob Grant had no comments.
Mr. David Merrell, 2829 Jordan Lane, lives within a two minute walk of the site. He stated that the creek does not always run full in the summer. He stated that it was said this evening that there would probably be only one or two tractor trailers in and out of the site, but on Answers in Genesis’ web site they say they have already purchased items from Baltimore on ten tractor trailers. He believes they would be bringing them to the museum, so they would have to have ten tractor trailers to haul them to this site if it takes ten tractor trailers to haul them from Baltimore. Are these ten tractor trailers in addition to the two that come on a weekly basis? He stated that Mr. Theissen said there would be no large groups at this site and he would like this to be a restriction if the request is approved, as well as that there not be any large seminars or family camps at the site. He talked to someone in Ben Chandler’s office and they stated that Answers in Genesis is not legally allowed to collect money in Kentucky.
Jennifer Warner, 2510 Stevens Road, lives about two miles from the site and is against the request. The more research she has done about Answers in Genesis and heard the public speak, the more contradictions she has heard. She stated that a lot of the signatures on the petitions are from people who thought that by agreeing to this zoning they would not get the Industrial zoning. She stated that they do not want Martin Marietta in there and people do not realize the two are related. One of the many inaccurate things Ken Hamm has stated is that this area is zoned Industrial, and it is zoned Rural Suburban Estates. She stated that there has not been one reason to change the zoning for Answers in Genesis. The story they heard at Bullittsburg Baptist Church has changed. She is astounded at the difference in what they were told last Wednesday night—they said the people of Boone County would not be allowed to use this facility. It is not a park area. They said the people could not use it. She questioned how many supporters came up and said this would be park land. They were told Answers in Genesis would not have religious assembly, but it is listed as an activity. The were told by Answers in Genesis that their mail order operation would not be here, but it is. She stated that they were only going to ask for 25 acres to be changed and the rest would be left, but this proposal says 47 acres. Everything she sees is a contradiction. She stated that people could not get into their web site recently and questioned why. She questions Answers in Genesis’ ethics. She stated that she will FAX her letter tomorrow to Staff.
Mr. Costello stated that the letter will be available to anyone who wants to see it.
Mr. Thomas Fischer, 2924 Bullittsburg Church Road, stated that he purchased his property last August. His property will adjoin the site. He agrees with his neighbors and people who have spoken against the request. He is not against the project per se, but is against the use of the land. If the building had been there, he would not have bought his land. He stated that there is nothing else in the area like Answers in Genesis and there are other places available for this use.
This concluded the comments by those who signed slips to speak in opposition to the request. The Chairman asked if there was anyone present who wished to speak in opposition who did not sign up.
Sheila Merrell, 2829 Jordan Lane, Burlington, stated that the residents are opposed to the rezoning based strictly on land use concerns and not on religious concerns.
Chairman Caddell asked if there was anyone else present who wished to speak in opposition. There being no response, he asked if there were any comments from the Commissioners.
Mr. Hicks stated that there is concern about the sewage treatment plant going into the creek. He questioned why it could not be dumped into the lake like Turfway Park does.
Mr. Greg Brown responded that the discharge of Turfway Park into the lake is a grandfathered activity. The Division of Water prefers not to have discharge effluent go into non-designed, non-aerated ponds. The pond was not designed and constructed for that use. In response to additional questions, Mr. Greg Brown added that the pond could be drained and reconstructed for that use. He stated that his earlier point regarding blue line streams is that is the way the USGS identifies streams as continuously flowing. It was his experience in a typical section of the stream to see it in a 1’ - 3’ deep area. It is the Division of Water that determines the suitability of the stream. He stated that he could discuss how this differs greatly from a school type operation where there is food preparation.
Mr. Viox stated that he thinks the museum is a good idea, but the problem he sees is that the infrastructure is not there and the area is not quite ready to develop. He stated that whether it is Industrial or Public Facilities, the building is a little less than WalMart in Florence—it is a big building. It is a regional draw and there are a lot of places in Northern Kentucky or greater Cincinnati that are suitable and have infrastructure for this facility. Why have they zeroed in on this site in this rural area that is in the Comprehensive Plan for 2020? The infrastructure is not there yet. He stated that this may be a use that everyone wants, but this may not be the place. He stated that we have gone through this twice before and he thought it was settled that they were going to reduce their application down to just the portion on that side of the lake and not bother the other areas—but they have come back and gotten more intense. He stated that we were agreed that there would not be any activity on the other side of the lake and now we see all the pathways and things over there. His statements are centered around the infrastructure and the lack of it, and whether we are ready to develop this area.
Mr. Theissen stated that 95,000 square feet is not a bad size building. It is a building that has museum, distribution center, and office, and it only produces less than 5,000 gallons per day of sanitation use and only uses 5,000 gallons per day of water, which is a very small amount. It is not a big infrastructure user. He stated that if they were building a 50,000 square foot building that produced 25,000 gallons per day and there were serious problems about whether the stream was adequate, he would appreciate those issues. He stated that it is not fair to turn down a development because of infrastructure issues when the infrastructure demand of the type of development being proposed is very small—smaller than a school. The only water and sanitation to be used is restrooms for fifty or sixty employees and the guests. The facility is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. He stated that the infrastructure is not a justification for denial. He stated that he submitted a letter from the state regarding developments in Boone County with treatment plants. He asked “Why should this little 4,000 gallon per day user and 5,000 gallon per day treatment plant be the one we say no to because the infrastructure is not there?”. He stated that they have more than adequate treatment of the sanitation and more than adequate water. He stated that there are four different alternatives for water supply. Infrastructure is not a justification to turn this development down. He stated that there was a lot of discussion about the south side of the property the last time this went before the Planning Commission. He stated that the south side of the property does not have one structure on it. He stated that there are probably buffering requirements when someone builds Public Facilities or Commercial and the widest is probably 100 feet.
Mr. Costello commented that the widest is 80 feet.
Mr. Theissen stated that the buffer between the development and the adjacent property to the south is probably 200 feet to 300 feet. There will be a picnic area and trails and ballfields—which is something people have in their backyards. It is not a use that is offensive. He stated that the Comprehensive Plan calls for a rural type use. He stated that there is not a zoning justification to turn this down. What is happening on the south side is passive recreation which is permitted in the zone. He stated that part of the reason they were asked to propose things on the south side is because if they show it on the Development Plan, they are locked into it. It is no different than what they ever wanted on the south side. It is passive recreation.
Mr. Viox asked if they are willing to commit to architectural review. Mr. Theissen responded “yes”.
Mr. Newman asked if it is 4,000 gallons per day considering only employees.
Mr. Theissen stated that they did a calculation based on the anticipated attendance and employees. It is a conservative estimate of how much is used and how much is produced.
Mr. Newman stated that there are 300 parking spaces. Mr. Theissen responded that there are 332 parking spaces. Mr. Newman questioned there being 332 people plus sixty employees each day. Mr. Theissen stated that they did a parking space requirement analysis, and they did not change the planned number of parking spaces from the last time. He believes the Development Plan probably shows more parking spaces than are required by about fifty. He referred to Tab 4 in the handout and stated that they would be required to have 280 parking spaces. He stated that they have to meet the code. He stated that the Planning Commission wants to make sure they have adequate water supply and treatment facility, but once they get zoning approval, they also have to get approval from the Division of Water. If they need to do more, they will have to do more—they would not be able to build without it.
Mr. Damstrom asked if the size of the sewer plants takes growth into consideration. He stated that the peak time (the time that people are there) use of the sewer plant has to be taken into consideration so that untreated effluent does not go into the blue line stream.
Mr. Theissen responded that there is a holding tank facility so that it discharges on an average basis.
Mr. Damstrom questioned growth in terms of people using the site—what are the provisions to increase the size of the plant?
Mr. Greg Brown referred to “peak significant run off” and stated that the proposed design would include a flow equalization tank that will receive all of the flow during the significant run off period. The average flow will be 3.5 gallons per minute. The holding tank will be sized for the peak demand period. He stated that they will make a submission to the Division of Water based on the facility today. If in ten years they wish to expand the facility, that would require resubmission to the Division of Water for an Upgrade Permit. The Division of Water would review the facility and see if the stream is capable of meeting the additional growth or not. If not, then they have no capacity for growth.
Mr. Damstrom stated that there is no one to monitor if the numbers are increasing. He questioned monitoring by the Sanitation District.
Mr. Greg Brown responded that even if they do not monitor the effluent requirements, review of the treatment plant is required. If it is determined that the usage of the facility is impacting the treatment plant in a negative capacity, they will require upgrading or reduce the effluent to within the limits.
Mr. Damstrom stated that the state only monitors the plant about once a month. In the meantime, if they dumped a lot of sewage and the tank did not handle it, and there was rain and it was flushed away, that would not be monitored. He stated that they only take samples from the tank.
Mr. Greg Brown stated that the Division of Water will require the Sanitation District to upgrade the treatment plan and their method is daily monitoring. He feels comfortable that the Sanitation District being a contracted operator for the facility would be a suitable governing authority to assure that in the event a situation arose where the facility was seeing flow in excess of the design, it would be in their best interest to alert the Division of Water and Answers in Genesis. He reviewed how the system was designed (breaking it down into sections and assigning flow based on the square footages of the sections). He stated that the Division of Water will review the plans with great scrutiny. He stated that it is an aerobic treatment process and the issue of stench is not a consideration. He stated that the Sanitation District will operate the facility and they currently operate a lot of facilities in Northern Kentucky.
Mr. Damstrom commented that he has not seen a sewer plant yet that did not smell.
Mr. Greg Brown responded that there are a lot of sewer plants that are poorly operated. He stated that Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky is well promoted by the Division of Water as being a class municipal operating district with 160 employees.
Mr. Ries stated that his concern is fire protection. He stated that the fire protection is based on the lake water, but it is dry July to October and lakes are about one-half level. What will they do during that time to provide fire protection?
Mr. Theissen responded that the estimates in the handout show that the lake has five million plus gallons of water. The actual water supply requirement according to the Hebron Fire District is 126,000 gallons—so they are well over the minimum requirement and would probably still have enough if the lake were below half full. It is a very large lake. In the driest time, there will be more than enough water.
Mr. Ries questioned who would monitor it. What if a dam broke—who determines what they have to do for fire protection?
Mr. Theissen responded that he does not know, but can address this at the Committee meeting if necessary. He stated that Answers in Genesis’ insurance carrier is going to want to make sure they have adequate protection. The Fire District has looked at this and their letter says that as long as they build what they say and it is done properly, the Fire District is comfortable it can be protected from fire.
Mr. McMillian questioned how the project would be phased if it is approved. What would they build first?
Mr. Theissen responded that they told him they want to build the museum first. They currently have an office and a warehouse facility, but they do not have a museum. They may build the whole thing at one time—it depends on the funds. Mr. McMillian questioned when the warehouse would be built. Mr. Theissen responded that it is a small storage room. They have a loading dock facility and one truck. He does not know when it will be built. They want to put all their facilities in one place. The goal is to build a headquarters where everything is in one place.
Mr. McMillian stated that he is concerned about a warehouse in Public Facilities. He asked, if they are not going to have any seminars there, what will the park be used for?
Mr. Theissen responded that public schools, which includes most of the schools in the community, would not be allowed to come because of the separation of church and state—but they could get a bus load of children from a private school who could go through the museum and have a picnic. Families could come there for the outdoor picnic area. He stated that it is privately owned land and there are liability concerns if they allowed children from the neighborhood to come. He stated that the Judge/Executive has asked if they would be interested in entering into a contract with the county to use their soccer field if they build there and they said they would consider it.
Mr. McMillian responded “You told them no”. Mr. Theissen stated that they asked if it would be a recreational area that anyone in the neighborhood could come in and out and that is not what it is intended for. Mr. McMillian stated that it is a private facility. Mr. Theissen responded “It is privately owned”. Mr. McMillian stated that we do not have a Private Facilities zone. Mr. Theissen stated that the zoning district is Public Facilities, but that does not mean the government has to own it. It is a use the public would come to. Mr. McMillian responded that a public school cannot come. Mr. Theissen explained that that is because of the separation of church and state. That is the schools’ rules—not Answers in Genesis’ rules.
Mrs. Wilson asked if there is no other property in Boone County that more closely meets their needs.
Mr. Theissen stated that he has no doubt that the applicant could find some place else to go, but this site is uniquely suited for Answers in Genesis. It is an Industrial zone, but it does not have a lot of factories around it. It is close to the interstate and his visibility. It is close to the interchange. The site is particularly suitable for the use and they have it under contract.
Mr. Newman questioned the blue line stream and how their use of it would affect future use. Would it restrict others from using that stream?
Mr. Theissen responded “no”.
Mr. Viox noted that Mr. Theissen said that the property was zoned Industrial. Mr. Theissen responded that he mis-spoke and he has not alleged that it is zoned industrial.
Mr. Viox stated that he believes Ms. Boese brought up a concern about another undesirable zone that would perhaps be on the other side of the expressway, which the community has feared. He stated that he believes action taken here does not affect action that may take place on the zoning on the other side of the expressway. He has heard the rumors that “we better do something or we will get the I-4 zone” and he does not think that is true.
Mr. Theissen stated that they do not promote mining and they do not want to be next to a mine either.
Mr. Knock questioned why they do not seek out a zoned area where the infrastructure is in place for their facility.
Mr. Theissen responded that they thought they did that. Over a period of one to two years they did an analysis of the zoning maps and the Comprehensive Plan to find a place that is industrial and meets their needs. They are in the middle of an industrial park now, and that is not the kind of industrial site they want to be in. He noted that the Comprehensive Plan says “adequate infrastructure”—but that is not to say you have to have city water or sewer. He has presented a list of developments that do not have city water or sewer. He stated that they have presented convincing information that there is adequate water and adequate method for treating the sanitation. He does not see where they do not have adequate infrastructure. He stated that they have adequately addressed water and sanitation.
Mrs. Arnett stated that in the original zone change request in 1996, one of the things on the plan was overnight camping. She stated that with Public Facilities, camping is allowed. She asked if they have plans for camping. Mr. Theissen responded “Absolutely not”. Mr. Hovath responded “That is not our desire”. Mr. Theissen stated that they will agree to a condition that there will not be camping.
Mrs. Arnett asked Mr. Theissen to address the citizens’ concerns.
Chairman Caddell asked if there were any other questions from the Planning Commission.
Mr. Damstrom stated that there is a concern in the Staff Report about the number of inappropriate uses in the Public Facilities zone that would not pertain to this site. He asked if the applicant would be willing to limit the uses in the Public Facilities zone to answer the concerns in the Staff Report.
Mr. Theissen responded that they do that as a developer when they come in with a Development Plan. If they change uses, they have to get approval. He stated that on the application is a list of what they plan to do and that is all they are planning to do. He stated that any changes would have to come back before the Planning Commission. He stated that they do not have a problem with making a commitment that there will not be a campground.
Chairman Caddell stated that the applicant and the Committee can address all of the Principally Permitted uses listed in Public Facilities and see which ones can be eliminated by agreement.
Mr. Theissen stated that one of the reasons they are asking for Public Facilities is the idea that if Answers in Genesis went out of business and wanted to sell. He stated that the Planning Commission does not want a factory there with smoke stacks and a 50,000 gallon per day package treatment plant. He stated that there was concern in I-1, but he does not think the same concerns exist in Public Facilities.
Counselor Wilson asked if they agree that the records from the prior two applications will be incorporated into this record. He noted that during the evening they made a lot of comments about the other applications without having those records included. He asked if they agree to incorporate them.
Mr. Theissen responded that he does not see why not.
Mr. Theissen stated that one of the big issues is the protection of the rural nature of the community—and they are not trying to affect the rural nature of the community. This is property along I-275 and the Comprehensive Plan allows non-rural type uses at the interchange, which is smart planning. He stated that the interchange of an interstate should end up with development. He commented that from here to Chicago on I-74 there is a lot of farmland—but at the interchanges are gas stations and hotels. He stated that they do not want industrial or commercial for miles and miles down KY 8 or KY 20. The decibel level on the property is over 65 and it is not a quiet rural site. He stated that they have addressed the issues about the treatment plant. They have given numbers of what they anticipate the traffic to be on KY 8 and on Bullittsburg Church Road—and the road levels remain “A”. He noted the comment about ten truck loads of stuff, and stated that when they move into the property, they will have to bring the exhibits—but that is a one time thing. It will normally be one or two 18-wheelers per week, plus the UPS and Federal Express trucks. He stated that they were offended about the comments made that the group is unethical and that people have been getting different stories—he does not think the comments were accurate or that they mis-spoke at the last meeting or at this one. They have been consistent about their plans.
Mr. Knock asked if records were made at the last meeting. Mr. Theissen responded that there was an audio tape made, but the audience stayed in their seats when they spoke and their comments may not be on the audio tape. He stated that the Planning Commission is welcome to the audio tape. Mr. Knock stated that it needs to be part of the record. Mr. Theissen responded that they would be happy to submit it.
Mr. Theissen referred to the traffic issue and stated that there is a traffic report. He stated that the Natural History Museum on a square foot basis is much larger than this museum will be. They have calculated traffic, parking, and water use on the square footage of the building and the reasonable capacity of the building. He stated that with any development, enforcement is an issue. He stated that all of the things they commit to and that are on their Development Plan are things that can be enforced. He thanked the Planning Commission for their consideration.
There being no further comments, Chairman Caddell stated that the Committee Meeting for this item will be on March 11, 1999 at 5 PM in this room. There will not be any new testimony introduced at that time. People are welcome to attend, but it will be up to the Chairman of the Committee as to how much discussion is permitted. This item will be on the Agenda for the Business Meeting on March 17, 1999 at 7:30 P.M. in this room. The Chairman closed this Public Hearing at 11:20 P.M..
Arnold Caddell, Chairman
Jan Hancock, Recording Secretary
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.