Comprehensive plan effort moves forward

The second round of public meetings for Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice, the new comprehensive plan for Kenton County, has been scheduled. Mark your calendars for June 14 from 6-8PM at Ludlow High School.

The first meeting will provide attendees with an overview of market forces. Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Amanda Van Benschoten will moderate a panel discussion, and the program will conclude with a work session where the public can discuss issues in greater detail. The second meeting will center on policy level issues that will be used to prepare countywide goals and objectives.

“Over 200 citizens attended and participated in the first round of meetings held between last October and December.  They provided their thoughts on Kenton County today and what they would like to see in the future,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, senior planner for long-range planning.

Employment was an area of interest to a majority of the respondents that attended the meeting. Concerns regarding good jobs for youth were expressed. The desire for a more comprehensive transit system and alternate modes of transportation were also discussed. The topic of accessibility was brought up in multiple meetings as it relates to the aging population in Kenton County and the need for this demographic to be close to amenities.

In two of the four meetings attendees thought the urban core needs to be strong in order to attract the younger generation. Several comments were made about the lack of amenities (night life, mass transit, and housing choices) to retain younger residents within the area.

“A big focus of Direction 2030 is to align policy with market reality. We have to be evermore mindful of the market during these tough economic times, especially when providing policy guidance for the future. We are excited about the information we received from the public and now we need to focus on how we can make that happen by having a good understanding of the market forces,” said Reddy.

To assist with providing that marketing expertise, the services of Michael Dinn with Dinn Focused Marketing have been sought. He and other local experts will provide their perspectives to the issues during the meeting on June 14.

A third round of meetings will focus on acquiring more input from the public on the plan’s goals and objectives. The feedback will be reviewed by all Kenton County legislative bodies and NKAPC, and their recommendations will be considered for adoption by the Kenton County Planning Commission.