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CITY COUNCIL: Ordinance limits signs in viewshed

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By Linda Ireland

 Hodgenville City Council held first reading Monday of an ordinance that controls the kinds of signs that can be placed in the viewshed area.

The viewshed corridor on Lincoln Parkway and U.S. 31-E acts as a “visual buffer” between the roadway and developed areas. It regulates the appearance of certain developments along those roadways. 

It was set in place in 2008 by the City and County and recommended by Land of Lincoln Planning and Zoning.

The amended ordinance prohibits signs from being placed in the viewshed regardless of the zoning of the property.

Paul Lassanske, planning and zoning chairman, said the original viewshed ordinance exempted agriculture land from many of its requirements. Since then, “numerous signs have gone up (on property that is zoned agriculture) that are unrelated to agriculture.”

Existing signs are not affected by the amended ordinance. If the sign is damaged, the owner has 60 days to replace it – but it must be the same size. No additions can be made to the existing signs.

The viewshed is 400-feet from the right-of-way on Lincoln Parkway and 100-feet from the right-of-way on Bardstown Road. 

City Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance. Second reading will be held Dec.10.

The Council agreed also with planning and zoning’s proposal of an ordinance to control drainage and erosion of newly developed areas.

Before a land division or plat for a commercial development is approved, planning and zoning will have an independent engineer review the plans. The cost of the review will be added to the regular application fee.

Lassanske said board members had expressed concern that storm run-off is being “properly addressed.”

City Council voted to approve the ordinance with the stipulation that the Council “sign off (on the plat) before it’s a done-deal,” according to Hodgenville Mayor Terry Cruse.

Second reading of the ordinance will be held Dec. 10.

Planning and zoning Administrator Bud Ireland said the ordinance will be presented to LaRue Fiscal Court as well.

In other business:

Mayor Cruse announced the City was taking over maintenance of two streets – Boone Drive and KC Estates.

Cruse said advertisements for bids for water, sewer and storm water treatment would be opened Dec. 5.

Cruse said seven steel doors and roofs over shower stalls had been installed at Parks and Recreation, at the request of the PR board.

Fire Chief Wally Sparks reported eight runs in October.

Police Chief Steve Johnson said he had applied for a highway safety grant. Officers will be doing extra patrols, checking for seatbelt usage, incapacitated drivers and speeding, in high-accident areas.