News and Tribune

December 16, 2013

River Ridge approves new retail rules

Measure dictates which businesses can locate at center


CHARLESTOWN — The River Ridge Development Authority moved to put the final say on whether certain types of businesses can locate in the commerce center back in the hands of the people.

The authority voted to approve Resolution 61-2013, which adds to the list of permitted land uses within the industrial park.

The new permitted uses include utilities, professional, scientific and technical services; administrative, support and waste management and remediation services; heath care and social assistance; commercial banking; and child day care services. The planning and zoning boards in Charlestown and Jeffersonville would have the final say on whether or not such businesses could locate within their city boundaries within the park.

“When it comes to retail, considerable power is vested in the respective mayors of Charlestown and Jeffersonville,” said Mark Robinson, authority president. “If they’re not supportive, then the issue dies.”

All other retail or commercial land uses not addressed by the resolution must come before the development authority board and win the vote of a simple majority of the five-member board to be allowed to move forward.

The vote for the resolution was 4-1. Board member David Flowe voted against the resolution. Flowe said after the meeting that he would have preferred uses not addressed in the resolution be allowed to move forward upon receiving at least four out of five votes.

Robinson said the resolution spent months in an eight-member committee prior to coming before the board for approval.

“I think we need services out here for the companies that have located here with their employment,” said Ned Pfau, board member. “They need to have services that will complement their style of living, and also complement the future development at River Ridge. This limited retail does just that here on our property.”


Duke Energy representatives presented the board with a check for $30,000 to help obtain megasite certification for a 1,500-acre parcel of land within the commerce center.

“We do not have gold, frankincense or myrrh, but we do come bearing gifts,” said Pat More, Duke Energy manager for the Jeffersonville area.

In general, megasites are parcels of land of at least 1,000 acres suitable for building a large manufacturing or industrial operation, according to a Duke Energy news release. To become certified, a parcel must have the necessary permits, approvals and infrastructure in place to allow a prospective business to begin construction relatively quickly.

McCallum Sweeney Consulting will conduct the megasite certification process at River Ridge.

“We are grateful for the long-term partnership with Duke Energy that has made this grant possible,” said River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy. “This megasite has the potential to attract large-scale manufacturing, which in turn brings high-skill, high-paying jobs.”