Recreation & Tourism ZOTA
Council Unanimously Passes Recreational Use ZOTA
We are pleased to report that on July 7, 2016, the Council unanimously voted to adopt the version of the recreational use ZOTA fully supported by the Fayette Alliance. The version adopted by Council allows for new agritourism and ecotourism activities in a way that balances the needs of agriculture and natural resource preservation with increased public access. The unanimous vote sends the right message: Our land-use policies must continue to support our agricultural foundation and natural resource management as a means to further strengthen economic development, tourism, and recreation.
This successful result comes at the end of a long process, dating back to February 2012. We want to congratulate and thank the Council, Planning Commission, ZOTA Work Group and planning staff for their hard and thoughtful work on this significant and positive piece of legislation.
Recreational Uses ZOTA 2014-4 Moves Forward at Council
On June 14th, 2016 the Council Planning and Public Safety Committee overwhelmingly voted in favor of our position of including the 6 commercial ecotourism uses as conditional uses, as opposed to principal uses. The vote was 7-2 in favor.
At the June 25, 2015 meeting, the Planning Commission voted 6-5 to approve the Recreation ZOTA, and specifically to allow 6 commercial ecotourism uses as principle uses in the A-N zone. Throughout the long drafting process, little to no discussion occurred regarding allowing these types of uses as principle uses in this zone. Fayette Alliance is not opposed to these uses in the A-N zone, but we feel strongly they should be allowed only as conditional uses, subject to a case-by-case analysis in which the environmental and agricultural ramifications can be studied and tempered by special conditional use permitting by the Board of Adjustment.
Yesterday, the overwhelming majority of the Committee members agreed. We want to thank all the Committee members who voted to include these uses as conditional uses. Their support ensures that the appropriate balance is struck between the needs of agriculture and natural resource preservation on the one hand, and new public access and recreation opportunities on the other. Their support ensures that we protect the very landscape visitors and locals wish to experience–thereby achieving the goals of the ZOTA.
The next step is for the ZOTA to go before the full Council for a vote. With the critical amendment made by the Committee yesterday, the Fayette Alliance fully supports the ZOTA as it will be presented to the Council. If adopted by the Council, over fifty recreational activities will be added to the Zoning Ordinance, including additional uses in our rural areas. Those additional uses include, farm tours, hay rides, petting zoos, corn mazes, and farm stands. These uses are consistent with the agricultural use of the rural zones.
We’ve come a long way since this process began in 2012, but we’re not there yet. We will let you know when the matter is scheduled to go before the full Council. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact your Council Member and let him or her know that you support the ZOTA as recommended by the Council Planning and Public Safety Committee.
Thank you for your commitment to sustainable growth in Fayette County. Working together, we can ensure the full Council does the right thing.
For more about this issue check out the following links below: