There was no decision Tuesday night by Ashland’s Board of Zoning Adjustment about St. Paul Lutheran Church’s application for a conditional use permit to open a day care center and preschool at its facility in the 1300 block of Bath Avenue.

The decision was postponed until tonight so board members could visit the site and examine the parking lot.

The hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Ashland Board of City Commissioners Chambers. It will be the third part of a hearing that began last month to decide whether to grant the church permission to open the day care, a new commercial business, in the R-5 zone, which allows new businesses.

A vote is expected at the meeting. Only four members of the five- member board have been present at the hearings, one of which has recused himself from the case because of his residence on the street.

The hearings are the third separate set of hearings conducted by the BZA in as many years on the issue.

In 2008, the BZA denied St. Paul’s application, but in 2009 it granted the conditional use permit. Residents opposed to the church’s plans sued, and in September Boyd Circuit Judge C. David Hagerman overturned the BZA’s decision.

He ruled the BZA had violated the city’s zoning ordinance by issuing the permit because Ashland’s comprehensive plan, which is incorporated into the ordinance, does not allow new commercial uses in traditional neighborhoods.

St. Paul’s has an appeal pending with the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

Hagerman suggested in his ruling, however, the city alter the ordinance to allow for such conditional uses in the future, and city officials took action last year to do.

The move has infuriated opponents of the day care, who claim the decision erodes the intent of the city’s comprehensive plan and could lead to a proliferation of businesses in residentially zoned areas.

Residents have long claimed there is no precedent to allow a business in a residential zone and that doing so would increase traffic and drive down property values.

A number of residents again expressed those views on Tuesday.

BZA members may be looking at the parking lot because of the suggestion by resident and opponent Dr. C. Michael Stansbury, who lives on Ashland Avenue but is restoring a home on 14th Street.

Stansbury suggested during his testimony that the design of the parking lot would not allow for sufficient parking for day care clients and would therefore impede traffic flow in and out of the church. This, he said, could lead to standing traffic and increased congestion in the area during peak dropoff and pickup times, which he believes could pose a safety threat.

He also proposed to the BZA if the permit is granted that additional requirements be placed on it, including a discontinuation of parking on the same side of the street as the church.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

The decision was postponed until tonight so board members could visit the site and examine the parking lot.

The hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Ashland Board of City Commissioners Chambers. It will be the third part of a hearing that began last month to decide whether to grant the church permission to open the day care, a new commercial business, in the R-5 zone, which allows new businesses.

A vote is expected at the meeting. Only four members of the five- member board have been present at the hearings, one of which has recused himself from the case because of his residence on the street.

The hearings are the third separate set of hearings conducted by the BZA in as many years on the issue.

In 2008, the BZA denied St. Paul’s application, but in 2009 it granted the conditional use permit. Residents opposed to the church’s plans sued, and in September Boyd Circuit Judge C. David Hagerman overturned the BZA’s decision.

He ruled the BZA had violated the city’s zoning ordinance by issuing the permit because Ashland’s comprehensive plan, which is incorporated into the ordinance, does not allow new commercial uses in traditional neighborhoods.

St. Paul’s has an appeal pending with the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

Hagerman suggested in his ruling, however, the city alter the ordinance to allow for such conditional uses in the future, and city officials took action last year to do.

The move has infuriated opponents of the day care, who claim the decision erodes the intent of the city’s comprehensive plan and could lead to a proliferation of businesses in residentially zoned areas.

Residents have long claimed there is no precedent to allow a business in a residential zone and that doing so would increase traffic and drive down property values.

A number of residents again expressed those views on Tuesday.

BZA members may be looking at the parking lot because of the suggestion by resident and opponent Dr. C. Michael Stansbury, who lives on Ashland Avenue but is restoring a home on 14th Street.

Stansbury suggested during his testimony that the design of the parking lot would not allow for sufficient parking for day care clients and would therefore impede traffic flow in and out of the church. This, he said, could lead to standing traffic and increased congestion in the area during peak dropoff and pickup times, which he believes could pose a safety threat.

He also proposed to the BZA if the permit is granted that additional requirements be placed on it, including a discontinuation of parking on the same side of the street as the church.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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