Question vs. Fact

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QUESTIONThe Buffalo Trace Peaks Mill project will ruin the natural beauty of the area, destroying wetlands and woodlands.

FACTBuffalo Trace has been a proud partner of Franklin County for decades and will continue its tradition of preserving and improving upon the land it acquires.

Environmental studies show that the Peaks Mill development will double the number of protected local wetland acres, safeguarding more than 70 wetland acres in the Elkhorn Creek valley. The project will also preserve approximately 28 acres of local woodlands, with warehouses being constructed only in open fields that are currently being utilized for crops and/or livestock production. Kentuckians who live along, explore, and paddle Elkhorn Creek will continue to experience the same tranquil environment that makes it such a popular destination.

Buffalo Trace Distillery is not only a National Historic Landmark, but also an accredited Level 2 Arboretum — featuring 1,000 trees and 2,900 plants on site. The company maintains a robust partnership with the White Oak Initiative conservation organization and recently launched a 15-year research partnership with the University of Kentucky in planting 1,000+ white oak trees at its nearby Buffalo Trace Farm property.

QUESTIONAs Sazerac Company filed plans for an expansion project in Anderson County some media outlets reported that Buffalo Trace Distillery is planning to leave Franklin County.

FACTBuffalo Trace Distillery’s roots in the Frankfort-Franklin County community extend back more than 200 years, and Buffalo Trace Distillery intends to call the capital city home for generations to come.

As the worldwide demand for Kentucky-made bourbon continues to increase, so does the need for space to age the whiskey. Like other distillers & agers, Sazerac Company must expand its footprint to ensure our product is available to meet consumer demand.

We look forward to growing in Franklin County and welcoming Anderson County into the Sazerac Company family.

It’s an exciting time as our industry’s historic growth is adding jobs, revenue and tourism dollars to communities across the Commonwealth.

QUESTIONThe Buffalo Trace Peaks Mill project will significantly increase highway congestion and snarl Peaks Mill Elementary School traffic.

FACTBourbon warehouses are not significant traffic generators, and Buffalo Trace is committed to working closely with local officials to minimize any impact whatsoever to the community.

Specifically, the company will coordinate transportation schedules to avoid the busy pick-up and drop-off times for the nearby elementary school. It is important to note that traffic in and out of bourbon warehouses is minimal, especially when compared to the hundreds of homes that may be built on the Peaks Mill property if Buffalo Trace doesn’t preserve the area.

QUESTIONThe Buffalo Trace Peaks Mill project will replace the current scenic beauty and rural character with industrial development.

FACTBuffalo Trace will protect and add to the scenic beauty of Peaks Mill.

As a community attraction for more than two centuries, Buffalo Trace knows firsthand the vital appeal that the scenic beauty and rural character of Franklin County holds for local residents and visitors alike. The company’s thoughtful, well-planned development in Peaks Mill will add iconic visuals of historic bourbon warehouses, a familiar and widely celebrated part of the rich agricultural heritage of our community and Kentucky’s famous Bluegrass Region.

QUESTIONThe Buffalo Trace Peaks Mill project will negatively impact local air and water quality.

FACTBuffalo Trace Distillery is dedicated to minimizing its environmental footprint.

The Peaks Mill development will set aside from development nearly 100 acres of unique wetlands and woodlands in the beautiful Elkhorn Creek valley — ensuring that they will be protected for future generations. Compared to the thousands of automobile trips generated by hundreds of houses that might be built on the Peaks Mill property, Buffalo Trace’s development plans will protect air and water quality.

As an example of Buffalo Trace’s commitment to the local environment, the company recently invested $43 million in a new wastewater treatment facility to treat and disinfect wastewater from the distilling, bottling, and process operations before releasing it as clean water into the Penitentiary Branch, a tributary leading to the Kentucky River. The reclamation facility will help ensure the Penitentiary Branch and the Kentucky River remain high-quality waterways. Buffalo Trace will apply those same high standards to the Peaks Mill property.

QUESTIONThe Buffalo Trace Peaks Mill project will negatively impact local tourism and economic potential.

FACTBuffalo Trace takes its prominent role in the community seriously and is proud to further expand its presence as the area’s most popular tourist destination while also adding to the local tax base.

The company will continue its unparalleled history of providing world-class hospitality to tourists from across the region and across the globe. If this project were forced to relocate to another county, Franklin County would miss out on vital jobs and revenue that support and enhance local services and schools.

The Buffalo Trace Peaks Mill project is truly a win-win for the local environment and the local economy. It will secure the permanent preservation of a distinctive old growth forest and wetland complex, while ensuring that the Franklin County community continues to thrive and grow for future generations.

QUESTIONBuffalo Trace is pursuing a text amendment (instead of a zoning change) to limit public input or expedite the process for their Peaks Mill project.

FACTThe text amendment action actually adds time (to an already lengthy approval process) and requires more hearings than a zone change.

It is also not a new concept — with the Franklin County zoning code allowing for hundreds of conditional uses, including a text amendment for craft distilleries. While a zoning change would limit the County’s ability to further restrict land use, a text amendment requires a conditional use hearing and gives the Board of Zoning Adjustments additional oversight on items such as building height, setbacks, hours of operation, density, and minimum tract size.

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