PRESTONSBURG — The city council expressed its support Monday night for a veterans’ hospital in the Fifth Congressional District.
The council approved a resolution expressing support for a hospital to be built somewhere in the Fifth District, after receiving copies of a petition from representatives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Mayor Jerry Fannin then went a step further, telling the VFW the city would allow the group to place copies of its petition at city hall, where people could sign it.
Members of the council asked if any preference for a location had been established, but were told that decision would be left up to Congress.
Toward the end of discussion about the project, council member Tim Cooley had one message he wished to pass along to members of the VFW: “Thank you for giving me a free country to live in.”
The council also voted to approve a zoning change for a restaurant being built near the S-curve. Developers of the Brick Oven Pizza being built in the old Hyden residence at the corner of South Lake Drive and South Central Avenue sought the change, after discovering one of the three tracts they had purchased for the restaurant was zoned residential, rather than mixed residential and commercial, like the other two tracts.
Fire Chief Bobby Carpenter told council members the Planning and Zoning Board had approved the zone change, with some conditions to address concerns from residents living near the planned restaurant, involving lighting, parking, limited nighttime hours for an outdoor patio and limits on outdoor music.
City Attorney Jimmy Webb, however, told the council it could not approve a conditional zone change. He said the council could either accept or reject the zone change without conditions, it could create a new zone which included the restrictions, or it could apply the same conditions to all properties in the city that are zoned for mixed residential and commercial use. He said singling out one property with additional restrictions would not be fair.
In the end, the council voted to approve the zone change, without any restrictions. Afterward, the council also approved a variance for a construction of a fence that would provide some separation between the restaurant and adjacent residences.
All members of the council were present, except for Roy Roberts.