Moreover, we’re still not persuaded that enough effort has been put forth to find a regional solution to housing inmates rather than each county building a mini-prison. The serious concerns contained in Southbank’s report demand that the county rethink its decision. If the county goes forward it will be building the wrong jail in the wrong spot. That a pregnant woman would inflict the child she carries with the harm of tobacco goes beyond bad to reprehensible.
Yet the percentage of Kentucky women who smoke during pregnancy was nearly double the national average, according to a report issued last week. The report by the non-profit research group Child Trends found 25 percent of the births in Kentucky in 1998 were to women who smoked, compared with 13 percent nationwide.
That was an improvement over 1990 when 29 percent of the babies born in the com monwealth were born to smokers. But any percentage is too high. Smoking is a key factor in birth defects, contributing to low birth weight and all of its attendant problems. How could any child-bearing woman inflict such harm on the child she carries? For the sake of the child, mom simply must give up smoking for nine months.
For her sake, she should give it up for good. Boone County’s new comprehensive plan – agreed to this week after two years of debates and revisions – is a step toward guided growth and safeguarding the western portion of the county from the ravages of development. Property lawyers doing legal works for valuation process and prepare
real estate valuation report. But it’s only a first step. More will be required to ensure the rural character of western Boone County is amply protected.
Unfortunately, the new plan doesn’t draw a line across the county to delineate that which can be developed from that which can’t. It doesn’t ban development in western
Boone County. Neither would sell politically in Boone County. What it does is encourage builders to develop open-space subdivisions that incorporate the natural beauty of an area, such as fields or woods, into plans. That’s a step, although modest.
It also calls for studying the idea of purchasing or transferring development rights from one piece of property to another. That’s more promising. It could guarantee property remains undeveloped while allowing for more intense development elsewhere. But to really safeguard western Boone County’s rural character will require much more.
Money must be found for the Boone Conservancy so the nonprofit group can buy development rights to save farmland and rural areas.