By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
A clerical error is no more.
The Williamsburg City Council’s agenda Tuesday included two items pertaining to “correcting” the city’s current map-drawn boundaries.
The first item on the council members’ plate was a resolution “severing” the current boundaries of the city and authorizing the acceptance of the “new” city limits. The first reading was held earlier this month — Tuesday was the second read.
Council members approved the resolution unanimously.
The second item was the ordinance establishing the correct boundaries for the city limits, and this, too, was its second reading.
This was also unanimously approved by council members.
During a meeting earlier in August, Mayor Roddy Harrison explained the error began during a city council meeting in September 1971.
“The mayor and council then (voted) to annex Beck’s Creek and the left side of Brush Arbor,” Harrison said.
But soon after, residents expressed concern.
“In October of ‘71, (there was) a special council meeting,” Harrison said. “The people who lived in the annexed area said (they didn’t) want to be annexed.”
He explained that at that time, it was customary for a governing body interested in annexing an area to vote for the annex, then send it onto the court system as a petition.
Harrison added that after the special meeting was held, the decision to “de-annex” Beck’s Creek and the left side of Brush Arbor was made.
“By December of that year, it was official,” the mayor said. “(Then), fast-forward to 1981.”
Harrison explained that in 1980, the state requested all cities send in a description of their boundaries.
That included resolutions and/or ordinances establishing boundary limits.
Somehow, the information sent concerning Williamsburg’s city limit boundaries included the original 1971 annexation ordinance.
That meant since 1981, Williamsburg city maps in the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office showed the left side of Brush Arbor and Beck’s Creek still within the city of Williamsburg.
“Fast forward” again to 2010 — the year of the federal census.
Residents in those areas were receiving mail stating they lived in Williamsburg’s city limits. Those residents contacted city officials, who told them that was not the case.
But in fact, it very much was the case.
The mayor said the city paid for surveyors to come and re-establish the city limits.
“It took two years of work to get this right,” Harrison said. “So (now we will) have correct city boundaries — it’s the most accurate map we’ve ever had.”
In other council decisions:
— A new ordinance concerning non-profit agencies purchasing land within the city limits was unanimously approved after its second reading Tuesday.
That ordinance states any non-profit organization making a land purchase in the city limits will have that property automatically zoned as a P-SP (public, semi-public) property.
Harrison said that includes churches, schools and similar organizations.
— An ordinance accepting the new zoning map was unanimously approved after its second reading during Tuesday’s regular meeting of city council.
In May, council members voted to go ahead and approve long-awaited changes to the city’s zoning map.
Most of the land involved was rezoned to P/SP, or public, semi-public use. These zoning districts, according to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, are designed to accommodate the establishment of large governmental developments, such as public cemeteries, recreational areas, schools, colleges and related activities.
After the changes were approved in May, then more acres of the city were changed to the P/SP designation, including the Kentucky Splash Waterpark, the University of the Cumberlands, and the cemetery north of the city.
Some other areas, mostly along the southern part of Florence Avenue, were rezoned to an R-1 (residential, single family), to make those properties conform to adjoining neighborhood properties.
An area west of North 11th Street between the cross streets of Hemlock and Curd Avenue, changed from R-1 to B-1 (neighborhood business). Also part of this particular zoning change was a small property at the intersection of Smith Lane and Red Bird Road, and an area around South 5th Street.
Two other significant areas of change were rezoned to B-2 (Highway Business, shopping center). One section is along the north side of Hwy. 92 across from Walmart. The other is near the Cumberland Regional Mall.
Zoning Administrator Herschel Roberts told council members earlier in August the map offered “a good description.”
“You can tell how (a property) is zoned by the color-coordinated (map),” Roberts said. “It’s easy to determine how that area is zoned.”
Tuesday’s ordinance was nothing more than to accept the new map, according to Harrison.
Tuesday was considered the September regular meeting of the Williamsburg City Council. Normally the council meets the second Monday of each calendar month, however, Harrison explained they want to get residents’ tax assessments to them as quickly as possible.