Villa Hills, Park Hills unite with joint code enforcement board

Seven Kenton County jurisdictions have worked together on code enforcement administration since 2006. Two more jurisdictions are scheduled to join the collaborative effort before the end of the year. Villa Hills and Park Hills councils are in the process now of acting on the interlocal agreement under which the Kenton County Joint Code Enforcement Board operates.

The seven current participating jurisdictions include Crescent Springs, Crestview Hills, Fort Wright, Kenton Vale, Lakeside Park, Taylor Mill, and unincorporated Kenton County. Under the interlocal agreement, each jurisdiction appoints one member to serve a four-year term on the board. The board’s membership will grow to nine when Villa Hills and Park Hills complete the necessary legislative action.

“Creating this joint board seven years ago made so much sense,” said Dennis Andrew Gordon, FAICP, NKAPC’s executive director. “The collaboration has definitely strengthened the hands of the seven participating jurisdictions. I’m confident Villa Hills and Park Hills will see this too.”

The Kenton County Joint Code Enforcement Board was an outgrowth of NKAPC’s One Stop Shop codes administration program. As NKAPC staff stepped up code enforcement activities in each of the participating communities, they encountered a cumulative number of property owners who would not abate zoning violations on their properties.

Taking them through the local court system seemed expensive and time consuming when an appointed board of citizens could handle the cases. NKAPC staff approached those jurisdictions that didn’t already have a code enforcement board as authorized by state law. The seven acted relatively quickly to create the collaborative effort.

As envisioned by the Kentucky Revised Statutes, local code enforcement staff cite violators with a ticket much the same as a traffic officer cites a driver for speeding. The driver then has a choice to make. (S)He can either pay the fine associated with the violation or appeal the citation. All appeals go before the jurisdiction’s code enforcement board that acts in much the same role as a judge.

The Kentucky General Assembly authorized local code enforcement boards over the past decade. The goal was to cut down on the caseload before local courts and to give local communities more control over code enforcement activities in their communities. The interlocal agreement under which the Kenton County Joint Board operates allows for adding new communities that see the need to be part of a bigger, collaborative effort to administer local zoning codes.