Coordination – an important function of NKAPC staff

Planning has always played an important role in coordinating efforts of various agencies, governments, private organizations, non-profits, and residents. In Kenton County, NKAPC staff works diligently to be involved with groups throughout the community and region whose missions focus on improving the quality of life for residents.

Staff has worked closely with the Kenton Conservancy board of directors—a non-profit corporation committed to protecting lands of natural, cultural, recreational, and historical significance—since its inception over a decade ago. The Conservancy has preserved over 100 acres of land to date through voluntary donations from property owners and developers.

“Often times developers call us regarding land they own as part of a development that is intended to remain in its natural state,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, NKAPC’s planning manager. “This land in most cases includes hillsides and areas along streams that have very high ecological value. We work to connect these developers with appropriate agencies that have the resources to focus on land preservation. This provides a win-win outcome for both parties.”

Several current zoning districts throughout Kenton County allow for greater flexibility in the type of housing product they permit and allow for a mixture of uses. This traditionally involves an open space requirement which usually becomes the responsibility of a home owners association. With the work of the Kenton Conservancy, however, early coordination during the planning phase of the development provides a developer the opportunity to donate this land in return for federal and state tax benefits.

“We know there are a lot of groups out there working on various efforts that we may not necessarily know about or have worked with in the past,” said Jim Berling of Berling Engineering Company. “NKAPC has been a crucial point of contact for us with those groups. If we can convey remnant land to a group that is working on land conservation, it benefits the community as a whole.”

Mackey McNeil, chair of the Kenton Conservancy said, “NKAPC’s involvement provides citizens and developers a regular point of contact when dealing with our board and allows volunteers to focus on outreach, maintenance, and spreading our message to the community. We don’t believe we’d be able to continue to serve the citizens of this county without the support and guidance we receive from NKAPC.”