By Bruce Wallace

Ashland Mayor Gene Rhorer wants to move forward quickly towards making a decision on whether or not the Ashland Board of Aldermen will grant a zoning change for CL Richardson’s property on Liberty Lane.

After two meetings of Middleton subdivision residents providing a lengthy list of reasons as to why adding six duplexes near their neighborhood is a bad idea, decision day has been set for July 19.

The aldermen will hold a public work session and discussion on the topic just before their 7 p.m. meeting – at 6 p.m. on July 19. A vote will be on the agenda for the meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

“We need to come to a decision on this so the businessmen can go on about doing business and the residents in Middleton can know which way we are going,” said Mayor Rhorer on Tuesday.

The zoning change from commercial to multi-family residential would allow Schooler Construction to build a planned cup-de-sac street with six duplexes. The subdivision would be on property just north of Liberty Lane, which includes dozens of duplexes. However, the property also backs up to single-family residential homes in Middleton.

Residents on Middleton have told aldermen that the duplexes would add parking problems, too much traffic, future crime and other difficulties in the neighborhood.

The Aldermen originally voted “Yes” on the zoning change – in spite of Planning and Zoning’s “No” recommendation – but the issue was tabled during the July 5 meeting. In order for the zoning change to be approved, it must receive two affirmative votes.