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City rejects request for downtown rezoning

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By Molly Haines

A building owned by Ashcraft Realty will remain a commercial property following an Owenton Planning Commission meeting Thursday.
The request to change the building located at 152 West Bryan Street from C-1 (commercial) to R-1 (residential) was made to the city’s board of adjustments.
The building housed the News-Herald office for decades and has sat vacant since August 2012.
The board of adjustments met prior to the planning commission, but Owenton Mayor Doug West said the board of adjustments did not have authority to make any decisions regarding a zone change.
A motion was made to send the request to the planning commission.
Because the building is located in the city’s business district, the commission could not grant a zone change, West said.
“You can’t spot zone in the middle of a commercial district,” West said during the meeting. “You can get sued over it. If you’ve got planning and zoning you’ve got to stick with it.”
Planning commission member Rex Stivers said he didn’t understand why the commission couldn’t allow the zone change because there are apartment buildings located nearby on North Madison Street.
West said he had been in contact with the Northern Kentucky Area Development District.
“They have a specialist for planning and zoning and I talked with them,” West said. “In the middle of town where you have a bunch of businesses, they said you can’t change one to residential.”