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Commission approves rezoning land to build housing on former Beverly Hills Supper Club site

Change needs final approval from Southgate
Campbell County Zoning and Planning Commission.jpg
Posted at 10:11 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 23:27:32-04

SOUTHGATE, Ky. — The Campbell County Planning and Zoning Commission voted Tuesday to approve plans for Memorial Point, a mixed-use residential development planned on the former Beverly Hills Supper Club site.

Commissioners voted unanimously to change the zone and approved a conditional use permit that moves the project forward and recommends that it be given final approval by the city of Southgate.

In May, plans were announced to build a $65 million residential development on the site of the former restaurant. The 80-acre development, called Memorial Point, would include 100 to 200 luxury apartments, single-family homes and a 79-unit assisted-living center. Currently, the land is zoned for office use.

Southgate already approved Ashley Builders and Vision Realty Group for the construction of the development.

MORE: An oral history of the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire of 1977

Officials said the the project will also include a memorial to the 165 people killed in the 1977 fire, officials said in a release.

Several people attended the meeting at the Southgate Community Center on Tuesday night to voice mixed views on the development. A few people in the audience wore shirts bearing the names of those who died in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire with “Respect the Dead” written across the front.

Darla McCollister, in attendance at Tuesday's meeting, was married at the supper club on May 28, 1977 -- the night of the fire.

“They said after we put the fire out, we’ll bring you back in. As you know, we never went back in," she said.

McCollister and many others not opposed to the Memorial Point development said the memorial park has to be open to the public. Under the current proposal, access would be controlled by the homeowners association.

But one longtime resident, who said his family lost friends in the fire more than 40 years ago, called the residential development a best-case scenario for land which would eventually be developed.

“I’m here to tell you this is a great thing and I stand behind it," he said.

And Tom McConaughy, co-author of a book on the fire subtitled "The Untold Story of Kentucky's Worst Tragedy," said he believes the public memorial would be a way for the community to come together.

“I think there’s some people who may come here more often than they might go to a grave site because they feel more connected to the people they’re missing and loving," he said.

Southgate City Council will vote on the plan Aug. 5. Pending the zoning change, construction is slated to begin in fall 2021.