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City delays yard sale ordinance decision

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After six months of discussion, the Campbellsville City Council voted unanimously to table an ordinance drafted to regulate yard sales at its regular meeting on Feb. 3.

Last August, Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young appointed Council members Mike Hall Jr., Dave Nunery and Patti Phillips to a committee to review yard sale issues and to form a recommendation.

The committee drafted an ordinance that would require individuals hosting a yard sale to apply for a free permit. The permit would have to be prominently displayed at the location of the sale for three days. Nunery said the purpose of the permits was to know when and where each yard sale was going to be and who was responsible.

The ordinance also stated it would be presumed that items purchased within six months of the application for the permit were purchased for the sole purpose of resale. According to Hall, this provision was aimed toward individuals operating resale businesses disguised as yard sales out of their homes.

Proposed fines for violating the ordinance ranged from $25 to $250.

When the Council had first reading of the ordinance in January, several Council members voiced their issues with it. No limit on the number of permits and questions regarding items bought for the purpose of resale were discussed.

At last week's meeting, Young told the committee he appreciated their efforts to draft the ordinance.

"However, I would appreciate the opportunity to try and solve problems which this ordinance is addressing," Young said. "Additional government regulations may be the only alternative, but I would prefer to avoid regulations such as this if at all possible. I would appreciate it if the City Council would table this issue and provide me a reasonable amount of time to amicably resolve this issue."

Council member Stan McKinney said he agrees and believes there are better ways to control traffic problems caused by yard sale shoppers parking illegally.

"I don't really care if my neighbor's having a sale, as long as they're not causing problems for me," McKinney said.

Hall said he has no objection to tabling the ordinance for now.

"... We have an ordinance present but I don't know that we have the infrastructure to utilize the ordinance," Hall said.

He said the permits should be drawn up as well as determine where the permits will be made available before the ordinance can be adopted.

Amendment to Zoning Ordinance

The Council also approved an amendment to Campbellsville's zoning ordinance that will allow family child care homes to operate in residential zones.

Family child care homes are regulated by the Kentucky Division of Regulated Child Care and are generally intended to be located within residential areas.

The Campbellsville Planning & Zoning Commission Board voted to deny a request to amend the City of Campbellsville Zoning Ordinance at a special meeting in December. Chris Tucker, board administrator, said amending the ordinance to allow for these facilities would compromise the integrity of residential neighborhoods.

"It was the commission's feeling that this was a little too much of a reach for a business with the number of children and the hours of operation," Tucker said.

But local resident Bronson Gowdy doesn't believe so. He told the Council that his wife Tonya has been "going by the book" for the last year to get approval to open a family child care home.

Gowdy said the community has a legitimate need for family child care homes because of the number of residents who work second and third shift. He said his wife read posts on Facebook from employees of a local industry in need of babysitters while they worked mandatory over time after the hours of commercial day cares.

"I feel that this is a benefit for the city as a whole and I hope that the city council will consider that and understand that," Gowdy said.

Hall asked Tucker if anyone from the Commission has contacted the cities of Elizabethtown, Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Bowling Green or Hopkinsville, all of which allow family child care homes. He also asked if the Commission has spoken with the licensing entity in Frankfort to ask why they allow the facilities to operate. Tucker said no.

"Seems like that would be a first step before you educated yourself about it," Hall said. "I did it in a matter of about two hours."

According to Nunery, it's significant that the ordinance would allow the family child care homes to locate in higher-density populations of R-2, R-3 and R-4 zones.

He said while he couldn't think of a time in the 18 years he has served on the Council that they have voted against the Commission's recommendation, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't.

"Our job here is to act as an independent body to deliberate and do the best thing for our community," Nunery said.

The Council voted 8 to 3 to approve the ordinance. Council members Paul Osborne, Diane Ford-Benningfield, Dr. Jimmy Ewing, Terry Keltner, Randy Bricken Jr., Phillips, Nunery and Hall voted "yes." Greg Rice, Randy Herron and McKinney voted "no." Sharon Hoskins-Sanders, who sponsored the ordinance, abstained from the vote.

Audit Report

Jeff Sprowles, CPA for Wise, Buckner, Sprowles & Associates, presented the audit report for fiscal year 2013-2014. Sprowles reported that at the close of the fiscal year on June 30, city assets exceeded its liabilities by $35.76 million.

The City's general revenues decreased when compared to fiscal year 2012-2013 by $226,212. According to the audit report, the majority of the decrease is attributed to a decrease in taxes collected of $109,824 less than the prior year.

The report also states that the city had $30,757,320 net invested in a broad range of capital assets, including police, fire and rescue equipment, buildings, park facilities and water and sewer lines. The city had $6,806,401 in general obligation bonds and capital lease obligations outstanding, a slight decrease from the prior year's $6,808,922.

"We see that the city has increased their net position by $653,365 from the prior year," Sprowles said. "A nice increase."

Campbellsville Water & Sewer Co. increased its net position by nearly $1.3 million.

Sprowles gave the state of the city's finances an overall "clean opinion."