First District Magistrate Russell Poore wants to see the county put something on the books to better protect it from undesirables coming into the community and says if land-use management will provide that, he is going to push for it.
Poore says he wants something that gives the county teeth to be able to make decisions on what can come into the county.
“We want to assure our county stays the way the citizens want it to,” said Poore.
This recent push by Poore is something he has wanted to do since becoming a magistrate.
“When I was elected I had two things I wanted to bring about while serving on the court, one was dead animal removal and the other was land use management,” said Poore. “We need to do something now and not wait until it’s already here, which will be too late.”
Magistrate Jo Orange has agreed with Poore saying something definitely needs to be done now to protect the county. Her push, however, comes from a recent battle that occurred last year concerning the allowance of an entertainment permit.
The battle involved the Tenn-Tucky State Line Tavern, which features pole dancing. The business, which is located outside of Adairville, was allowed the permit last year. Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick tried to stop it by denying owner Sheila Haley a permit, however, his decision was overturned by Circuit Judge Tyler Gill stating the Kentucky statute that allowed Chick to deny the permit was too vague and thus, unconstitutional.
“I know we can’t do anything about what is here now, but maybe we can make our ordinance more strict to keep it from happening again,” said Orange.
Both Poore and Orange say they want something on the local level that would give the county authority to block those types of businesses or ventures and anything else that was deemed undesirable by the people of this community which they serve.
Poore said another one of his concerns was the landfill. He said he is worried when the landfill closes in 2015, they will sell any left over space to another waste business and the county will have no say. Along with the landfill, Poore mentioned the transfer station in Auburn and poultry farms. Poore suggested county attorney Joe Ross look into regulations where the county would have tougher laws.
This is not the first time land-use management has been kicked around the fiscal court’s table. It was last brought to the attention of the magistrates by Jody Lassiter, former Executive Director for the Logan Economic Alliance for Development (LEAD).
According to Lassiter, who came to the court five years ago with the plan, said land-use management in its most basic form, results from a public system of planning, rules, and decision-making by which the people of a community and their representatives fairly and equitably determine how best to balance and to harmonize competing and often conflicting private uses of land, whether agricultural, industrial, commercial, recreational, or residential.
“All too often, the value of land-use management is neglected until it is too late,” said Lassiter, when he came to fiscal court to push the initiative that never went anywhere. “The realization of its need usually sets in with the cry of “Not in my backyard” by a dismayed landowner in response to the use of a neighbor’s land in a way that may harm or limit his own private use and enjoyment of his property, including its value. There are too many well-publicized examples of this conflict in Logan County’s recent history.”
Although Laster’s plan to protect the county fell on deaf ears at the time, it has seemed to stay in the forefront on some minds. Current LEAD Executive Director Tom Harned feels land-use management is a good thing and he is for it. He did say, however, when you get into restrictive zoning that prohibits economic development he is not, but feels land-use planning is something worth looking at and discussing. Judge Chick agrees with Harned saying he would not be for any zoning in the county, but says putting something on the books to help the county have a say would be beneficial.
“I am going to push to get this done,” said Poore. “I really think this would be good for the county as a whole.”
Second District Magistrate Jack Crossley said it would depend on what would be taking place as to how he would feel about it.
“Some people would not want to be imposed on what to do with their property,” said Crossley. “Russell has talked about this, but no plan has been brought up. I couldn’t sign off on anything until I knew what it entailed. We need to do a lot more study about it before we make any kind of decisions. I would be up for seeing something but we need to research and see what the best option would be for the people of the county and cities.”