Independence citizen taskforce sends update to council

A steering committee of citizens appointed in late 2009 by Independence City Council has completed its work and sent its findings and recommendations back to council for consideration and action. The results from that review by the city’s elected officials will be sent to the Kenton County Planning Commission for consideration before being amended into the city’s zoning ordinance.

The catalyst for this citizen effort was the 2007 adoption of the Independence Community Small Area Study by City Council and the Kenton County Planning Commission. The planning commission’s action incorporated the study’s contents into the Kenton County comprehensive plan.

“The Independence Community Small Area Study included land use recommendations that did not conform to our existing zoning code,” said Rodney Crice, citizen member of the steering committee. “Those who were charged with implementing the study recommended that city council conduct a zoning update process to create zoning more compatible with the recommendations of the study.”

The appointed steering committee met almost monthly for a year and a half to review current zoning requirements, small area study recommendations, and zoning alternatives. The members’ geographic focus was for areas around downtown Independence, McCullum Pike, and the intersection of McCullum Pike with new KY 17.

The steering committee wrapped up its work last month and is now in the process of presenting its recommendations to the Independence City Council. Those recommendations include the following three new zoning districts and the formation of a design review board.

*  DI/Downtown Independence zone
*  CD-SF/Conservation Development Single-Family overlay zone
*  GMU/Gateway Mixed Use zone

Crice states, “Our committee worked diligently to reach consensus on these recommendations. Our process was open and included two public forum opportunities for community input. The public input definitely influenced our final recommendations and I think helped create a better end product.”

Crice concludes that he is pleased with the final recommendations. “If council approves the new zoning codes, we will have achieved a primary goal for implementing and realizing the small area study recommendations.”

More information on this project including the draft regulations, additional information, and public comments are available on nkapc.org.