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County comprehensive plan under review

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No significant changes expected but feedback desired

By Marty Finley

Hardin County is in the review phase for an update to its comprehensive plan.

Acting Planning Director Wesley Wright said the Hardin County Planning and Development Commission is taking public feedback on possible changes to the plan, which must be revamped or reaffirmed every five years as required by the state.

A comprehensive plan is a series of documents prepared under the direction of a planning commission with input from community leaders and residents. The comprehensive plan sets policies and procedures for future development of the county.

“It is based on inventory, analysis, and evaluation of data, such as land use maps and surveys, population studies, studies of the community’s economic base and community facilities, housing analyses, natural resource studies, and community surveys,” states the county’s current comprehensive plan.

The comprehensive plan also delves into elements such as recreation and cultural development, transportation, historical sites, environmental considerations and political framework.

Wright indicated most of the public hearings during the review process would be contained within the commission’s regular meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Fiscal Court chamber on the upper floor of the H.B. Fife Courthouse on Public Square in Elizabethtown. Wright said the comprehensive plan may be discussed at the meeting.

A significant revamp of the plan was undertaken in 2008 so Wright does not expect another major change so soon. Instead, he said the county may simply enact housekeeping procedures to clean the plan up, such as the replacement of maps and the updating of charts within the plan, which would include information on population, future population estimates and numbers on subdivision lots and housing units. The new plan would represent populations changes brought on by base realignment at Fort Knox.

Wright also said the county may extend its population forecast for the 2013 plan.

Hardin County Judge-Executive Harry Berry said the plan will be presented to the commission and public hearings will be heard before the commission forwards it to Fiscal Court for final approval, which will take two readings.

Berry said he does not anticipate any significant changes.

The 2008 plan made several major changes, including the extension of an urban residential zone by 15,000 acres to accommodate future growth and the design of natural resource areas to protect the county’s drinking water sources, Wright said.

The plan also encouraged improved subdivision designs with fire hydrants, underground utilities, sidewalks and green space areas; addressed minimum housing lot sizes; and planted the seed for an overlay zone to regulate development around the Glendale mega site.

The 2013 plan also will reaffirm procedures to extend wastewater service into unincorporated, rural segments of Hardin County, which will be regulated by an ordinance under development by the commission.

“The comprehensive plan is not rules and regulations,” Wright said. “It’s policies.”

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com