An Ugly Moment in Beautiful Bardstown, KY
Posted October 14th, 2013 in Bardstown and tagged , , , by Rick Hill

rampfinal-342x256Last week a zoning code controversy broke out in Bardstown, KY concerning a residential ramp that was constructed by neighbors to allow a physically challenged child access to her home without assistance.  It seems that such ramps require a $250 building permit and since the ramp was within 25 feet of the public sidewalk – an apparent code violation, another $250+/- fee was required to request a variance.  Letters of non-compliance were sent out by the city with various forms of threats in an attempt to gain compliance and to collect the $500+ in fees.  Regional and local media reported the story and soon international social media caught wind, resulting in an ugly image of greedy and a less than compassionate city government.


Local administrators and politicians quickly ducked for cover with paraphrased statements such as: “I am just doing my job.” “I don’t make the laws.” “I have no choice but to enforce the code.”


But Bardstown, which now promotes itself as the “Most Beautiful Small Town in America” should not forget that its inner beauty stood out in the 2012 Rand McNally and USA Today national competition as much as its outward beauty.  With that title, the town has obtained significant recognition but it also now carries a great burden to live up to its true inner beauty when the travel media is not looking.


Hardly would one expect a traffic officer to stop a car speeding to the hospital and proceed with a “just doing my job” attitude while running license, registration, and insurance checks in addition to writing a citation while the speeding auto’s passenger lied on the rear seat bleeding to death.  Obviously, upon recognizing the situation any police officer would immediately accompany the driver and victim to the hospital.


Hopefully, next time city administrators and politicians encounter a conflict with their building code that clearly does not address small lots and an innocent child facing life challenges, they will also quickly accompany the situation through the fast code variance lane.  Wouldn’t that be beautiful?


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