Bullitt Fiscal Court to Decide on Shepherdsville Development

by Devin Katayama on September 5, 2011

The Bullitt County Fiscal Court is deciding on Tuesday whether to allow a developer to build a two-million square-foot project that could bring several jobs to the area. But a local church continues to argue that the development doesn’t fit in the neighborhood.

Last week the Shepherdsville City Council denied the option for Red Rock Developments to annex land near the Bardstown Junction Baptist Church in Shepherdsville. This would have allowed the developer to bypass the county’s fiscal court, which gave the developer and the church time last August to work out an agreement before it makes a decision. No agreement has been made and now the county’s fiscal court must decide whether the developer can move forward with the project.

“Regrettably the developers just wouldn’t provide enough money for the church to find other property and build a new church,” said church attorney Bruce Simpson.

The church made an offer of $5 million before the original proposal went before the fiscal court in August. It was denied. The church made another offer of around $3 million this past month, said Simpson. That was also denied.

But Red Rock Developments Senior Vice President John Barker previously told WFPL the amount the church requested was much too high for its space. And he said the concessions they offered the church were fair and included donating 1.5 acres to the church for free, building the church out of the flood plane it currently sits in and connecting it to adequate sewage.

The two-million square feet of business space could create several thousand jobs, said Barker. But the church continues to argue that building in the property will deteriorate the neighborhood over time, said Simpson.

“It was just too risky, too incompatible to have all of that industrial activity and (we) concluded that it would be best simply to move, but unfortunately not enough money was provided in order for that to happen,” said Simpson.

On Tuesday, the fiscal court could chose to accept or reject the project. If the court doesn’t act, the project can proceed 90 days after passing the joint planning commission, which it did in June, said Simpson.

The county attorney’s office would not comment on the case.

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