Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

June 26, 2014

City of Glasgow annexation committee votes to annex land, tract next to Steeplechase will be added

GLASGOW — The City of Glasgow’s annexation committee voted Thursday to move forward with adding a tract of land within the city limits.

The land was recently acquired by Runnymede Real Estate, which developed Steeplechase subdivision off U.S. 31-E north of Glasgow. Four lots in the neighborhood that front Steeplechase Road on the north side of it, just before it intersects with Old Munfordville Road, were very shallow, said Doug Isenberg, who has assisted with the land-transaction process.

“They had enough square footage, but they were not really deep enough to accommodate a setback line to put a house on,” he told the committee. “For several years, the developers of Steeplechase had attempted to acquire another tract of land immediately behind that with enough depth and width to have a couple hundred feet in depth for adequate-sized building lots.”

Last year that land changed hands, Isenberg said, coming into the possession of Glasgow Farm LLC, owned by the Gaunce family, and a trade of properties was negotiated so a strip of land totaling 1.746 acres – 76,070 square feet – could be obtained by Runnymede. The land in the lots as initially subdivided is inside the city limits; the newly acquired additional land is outside the city limits.

“[We] felt like all of it needed to be in the city limits. You wouldn’t want your front porch in the city and your rear porch in the county,” he said. “It’s kind of a housekeeping thing, and we’re attempting to go through the hoops to get that done.”

The city received an affidavit requesting the annexation signed by Runnymede’s partners – Betty Bailey and Emogene Riherd, who is the mother of Glasgow Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman.

Kevin Myatt, director of the Joint City-County Planning Commission of Barren County and a committee member, said the new tract is contiguous with the existing city limits, as state law requires land to be for consideration of annexation.

The affidavit also asks for this new parcel to be zoned residential, along with the portion of their property already in the city limits.

Myatt summarized the general process for annexations.

The committee’s recommendation to annex is made to the planning commission, which will then consider whether to approve both it and the zoning change, for which it will hold a public hearing. If the commission approves those – and after the minutes of the hearing are approved at the commission’s following meeting – that group’s recommendation goes to the city council for passage of an ordinance, which requires two readings. Eventually, all the documentation is filed with the Kentucky secretary of state’s office.

Myatt said the proposed zoning would be R-1 – low density residential – which is what is adjacent to the property. Signs would be posted notifying adjoining property owners of the time and date for the public hearing.

Trautman said an issue that often arises with an annexation is the effect it has on the police and fire departments’ response times.

“This is already basically in the neighborhood, this is just cleaning it up,” she said. “I think it’s a value, because as Doug said, these lots as they are really aren’t buildable, so it will add value to the city if and when those houses are built there, so it’s not adding to the infrastructure or anything.”

Having properties completely in or completely out of the city also helps resolve any questions about where the residents vote, she said.

“I don’t see any problem with it myself,” said Councilman Marlin Witcher, another committee member.

The committee members present voted unanimously to recommend the annexation.

The mayor also acknowledged her relationship to Riherd.

“I do want to disclose that this involves property owned by my mother,” Trautman said. “But it’s through a corporation. … I don’t have anything to do with this business’ management.”

According to documents on the Kentucky Secretary of State website, Trautman started on the board of directors of the company she said her father and two others founded. She was chairman of the board of the company from 2000 to 2011, according to the website.

The 2011 annual report, submitted June 1 that year, shows she was replaced by Rita Riherd as chairman and she was no longer a director. She became mayor January 2011.

“It’s a family-owned company, but since I have been in elected office, I haven’t been on the board or anything. I haven’t participated in any of their meetings,” Trautman said after the committee meeting, adding she is not involved in any decision-making process for the company. “I do receive an annual dividend, but it’s not anything I have any control over. It’s like I’m a stockholder.”

Trautman said she did not vote on the annexation recommendation, as she is not a voting member of the committee, but while she would have to double-check to be certain, she said she was pretty sure the city had annexed property for anyone who had requested it.

“I don’t think the city has ever denied anyone’s request,” she said.

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