Letters to the Editor

Commissioners should reject clustered housing model

An open letter to the Board of Floyd County Commissioners: Billy Stewart, John Schellenberger, Shawn Carruthers.

I am asking you, in the interest of the overwhelming majority of Floyd County residents, to reject the concept of “Conservation Subdivisions.” The word “overwhelming” is used in our Floyd County Comprehensive Plan to describe the people’s preference for keeping Floyd County rural. Conservation is a grossly misleading title for this subdivision design, which can allow clustering of houses as close as five or six feet apart. The “open space” that earns the right to concentrate the density of housing must be a minimum of 35 percent and this open space can be land that is otherwise unbuildable. Example: A proposed “Conservation Subdivision” can have a small area of buildable land adjacent to a flood plain or wetland and quality by “matter of right” to cluster the homes. The unbuildable land can qualify as open space. One of the eight provisions for additional credit toward increased density is to maintain fence rows along public roads that shield the clusters of houses from public view.

A subdivision committee of nine people had their first of seven meetings on Feb. 6, 2019, to simplify the procedure for subdivision approval. Two members of the public attended the first six of the seven of the insufficiently publicized meetings, three people at the last meeting. No news reporters were present at any of these meetings. The committee appeared to be strongly biased toward accelerated development. Only one member was outspokenly opposed to intense development. The membership was not publicized. One member from outside of Floyd County claimed he was chosen for his expertise. Another member has since been awarded a $3,535,000 contract for work on Phase I of the Innovation Park Project (an innovative development, indeed). The committee meetings were held around a couple of tables in front of the dais that is used for public meetings. One microphone was provided and it often failed and certainly did not provide a tape that gives the public a record of who said what. The nine microphones at the dais were not used and no reason given.

This reluctance to keep the public informed is not in the best interest of Floyd County and the buck stops with you three men. Make a major move toward improvement by rejecting the developers’ flagship project “Conservation Subdivision.”

— George Mouser, Floyds Knobs

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