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JBS Swift Zoning Nightmare Will Never End

August 17th, 2010 by jake · 3 Comments

On Thursday, legal counsel for JBS Swift requested an extension of time to exercise the over-discussed modified use permit. An extension, it should be noted, that legally had to be requested 30 days before the permit is set to expire (expiration August 31). Not surprisingly, the matter was placed on BOZA’s agenda during the 11th hour on Friday – for a meeting taking place on Monday morning. Conveniently, the only folks notified about it: Swift’s attorneys. Neither opposing counsel nor the Butchertown Neighborhood Association were notified. Also conveniently, the agenda wasn’t made publicly available and as of this writing, the BOZA website is down.

An extension was granted, despite the Kentucky Revised Statutes not granting BOZA the power to do that (at least that I can find). And it doesn’t seem like anyone is interested in shedding light on the shenanigans.

Was this yet another matter these folks have attempted to hide from public scrutiny?

Doesn’t pass the dead pig guts smell test, does it? I have requested comment from BOZA, but don’t hold your breath on a response.

Currently, the company has no use permit for any of its local operations. Not for the slaughtering facility on Story Avenue or for its makeshift meat storage operation on Cabel Street. Not exactly a terrific place for a business to be, but I’m sure Jerry Abramson & Crew will come through for them yet again.

Speaking of BOZA, chairwoman and local business extraordinaire Leah Stewart, wasn’t re-appointed for another term. Rare occurrence much? I’m sure Jerry will say it’s so others will have an opportunity to serve the public. But come on.

I reached Stewart via email and got the following comment:

I have a passion for zoning, as geeky as that sounds. I think that zoning is one of the basic elements that creates the fabric of neighborhoods. It’s what creates livable, walkable communities, insures that developers include landscaping in their designs and preserves the tree canopy across the city, for example. Zoning helps give regular citizens a voice in development and a place at the table when decisions are being made on new building projects or alterations to existing buildings. There are so many ways that zoning enriches a city.

Louisville Metro’s Land Development Code is more than 1,000 pages. There’s a lot of information for the average citizen to understand. The nine volunteers on the Planning Commission and the seven volunteers on the Board of Zoning Adjustment do a Herculean job of applying zoning regulations as citizen planners. Each Commissioner and Member puts in their own time reading case reports, visiting sites, and preparing for the public portion of a case. It’s often a thankless job, but a job that would be sorely missed if it didn’t exist.

I believe in zoning. I’m exciting by zoning. I’ve been known to read professional zoning articles in my spare time. I was proud to volunteer my time and effort for Louisville Metro because it’s a city I love and a job I believe in. I looked forward to continued volunteer service.

Her term ended on June 30, but members continue to serve until they’re re-appointed or replaced. While Stewart was serving, during what everyone thought was just a delay in the re-appointment process, the board re-elected her chair at the July 19 meeting.

Stewart had previously called for a November 15 hearing to receive specific, full-scale testimony from Swift regarding the mitigation of odor and noise, the hog offloading operation, rerouting truck traffic, emissions elimination, idling trucks and best practices.

Tags: Business · Butchertown · Metro Government · Oops · Zoning

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Valkyrie // Aug 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Good email. Sounds like someone you’d want to beg to stay on the board, not replace.

  • 2 S. Milton // Aug 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I don’t believe in “lifetime” appointments nor do I believe in “term limits” If someone serves well and their integrity shows in their actions why would we want to take a chance on someone else? Sounds like elected chair by peers on the committee is testimony enough

  • 3 Sharon // Aug 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I had two cases before BOZA in the last year. Won one, lost one. But I thought the process was fair and the Chair made sure that all points of view were heard equally. That’s all you can ask – that the process is fair and everybody gets heard. Of course, I would have preferred to win both. lol.

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