(Florence, Kentucky)—On November 20, Answers in Genesis filed an appeal with the Boone County Circuit Court to challenge a denial of its zone-change application to build a Creation Museum and offices on 25 acres off I-275 in Northern Kentucky.
Answers in Genesis, which is committed to defending the accuracy and the authority of the Bible from the very first verse, was founded by Ken Ham, who observed: ‘The county’s Comprehensive Plan clearly provides that our tract of land should be zoned for “industrial” use, which is how our intended use is classified.
The Fiscal Court’s decision, when examined in light of its own Comprehensive Plan, is arbitrary and clearly violates our constitutional rights. We are therefore appealing.’
The Fiscal Court on November 10 approved the Planning Commission’s findings of September 16, which were clearly arbitrary and capricious:
The Commission, which voted 9-5 against the rezoning proposal in September after two earlier questionable votes, argued that the interchange near AIG’s proposed property “may support some commercial highway service establishment, especially if casino gambling occurs in [nearby] Lawrenceburg.” Ham responded: “the Commission wants to stop our ministry from building there, but would have welcomed gambling-related businesses. This is blatant viewpoint discrimination.”
This and other actions have demonstrated that the Commission and Fiscal Court “violated the First Amendment rights of AIG” (appeal point #63) and attempted “to suppress, hinder, or interfere with the free expression” of AiG’s message (point #62).
The Commission and Fiscal Court accepted a “minority report” submitted by one of the Commission members, which was “never adopted by any committee of the Planning Commission” (point #46). This minority report “is violative of the Comprehensive Plan and the Boone County Zoning Regulations, and is the result of unconstitutional and unlawful proceedings” of the Commission (point #47).
For example, this illegal minority report ruled that Industrial-1 zoning “does not include office land uses” and therefore AIG’s zoning application must be denied. Ham observed: “This is absolutely wrong and not a matter of interpretation. The county’s own zoning laws clearly state that offices are principal uses on Industrial-1 property” [section 11.7].
Ham concluded: “Answers in Genesis remains committed to relocate its facilities to this site. We are confident that our legal counsel can argue a convincing case before the Circuit Court, and that the Court will overturn this decision and require the county to follow its own Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Regulations.”
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