Entries for 'kenton county'

Kenton County’s new CodeRED™ program built atop GIS data

Posted on June 30, 2017

Until recently, the only ways local governments had to warn their citizens of emergencies were through radio and television stations and local sirens. Kenton County residents are now also able to receive those warnings via telephone, text message, or email through the CodeRED™ program, a recent addition approved and implemented by Kenton Fiscal Court.

CodeRED™ is an emergency notification system tailored to address-specific locations. When emergency situations arise, notices are sent to those in the area who might be affected. Kenton County’s GIS data, which is managed by PDS, provides the basis for these notifications.

At the request of Tommy Thompson, Executive Director of Kenton County Emergency Communications, LINK-GIS has provided address points, road centerlines, and county boundary information to be used in this emergency notification system, a joint effort between Kenton and Boone Counties. PDS will maintain the address database from which the Kenton County system operates.

Here’s how it works –

Citizens sign up for the free service by providing the address of their residence and/or place of business, phone number(s) and email address(es). When there is an emergency near those address, notifications are sent. Some situations which might trigger notifications include:

• fires;
• floods;
• amber alerts;
• boil water notices;
• shelter-in-place warnings; and
• evacuations.

Accurate notifications can only happen if you keep your information current. As Kenton County Homeland Security & Emergency Management Director Steve Hensley stated, “We need all residents to take the time to update their information. The success of this system is dependent upon citizens entering their information. The more accurate contacts we have, the better we can notify county residents of emergencies.”

Those who want to learn more can find it on Kenton County’s website. To update contact information, use this link and follow the given instructions.

Take time to protect yourself and your loved ones today!


Staff assumes role with county economic development group

Posted on June 01, 2017

Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann formed a site readiness taskforce in 2016 to analyze land in the county and identify parcels for industrial development. The taskforce membership includes representatives from Kenton County Fiscal Court, PDS, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, the Northern Kentucky Water District, Duke Energy, REDI Cincinnati, SD1, and citizen stakeholders.

PDS and TRI-ED have been tasked with looking at areas in Kenton County for future industrial development.

“The goal is to determine where industrial development is most appropriate for the future and change the future land use vision for those areas in Direction 2030, the county’s comprehensive plan. If we set these areas aside now and plan for the necessary infrastructure to support manufacturing, we’ll provide future generations with job opportunities,” said Emi Randall, AICP, RLA, Director of Planning and Zoning Administration.

PDS planners and GIS staff have worked with Tri-ED to conduct an examination of all 62,206 Kenton County parcels. Through careful analysis of multiple characteristics, certain parcels were identified as having industrial potential. Parcels that were unsuited due to parcel size, existing buildings, developmentally-sensitive areas (environmental concerns), zoning, access to major roads, and access to water and sewer infrastructure were eliminated.

The analysis confirmed what many suspected; there is little land available in Kenton County for manufacturing. The initial GIS analysis yielded only 20 parcels in the county that meet all identified real estate criteria for industrial development. Among those, only six parcels can be made ready for industrial development within the next five years.

Furthermore, the only site on the list that is ready today for industrial development is the Showcase Cinemas Site in Erlanger, which is currently under contract for development.

Through the generous support of Duke Energy, nationally-renowned site selection consultant McCullum Sweeney, was contracted to provide guidance to Tri-ED for these six sites. Upon further scrutiny, there is much work needed to get these sites prepared for economic development.

“Not only do we have very few sites available for industrial development, we have very high development costs to get those sites build-pad ready,” said Wade Williams, Senior Vice President of Tri-ED. “Environmental mitigation costs are extremely high and these sites still need utility improvements and grading. They’re not ready today.”

Kenton County is home to numerous development patterns and land uses within its boundaries. The land use element of Direction 2030 states the following; “There is a need for land which has the appropriate infrastructure in place to support industrial uses. Large parcels (50 acres or more) of ready to build upon land are in particularly short supply and efforts should be made to increase the amount of such land in the county.”

The taskforce will work over the course of 2017 to develop a strategy to bring additional sites into the short-term pipeline for industrial development.

 



Kenton County expands emergency preparedness plans with new CodeRED system

Posted on May 11, 2017
INDEPENDENCE, Ky. (May 8, 2017) – After a regional bidding process, Kenton County has joined Boone County in the implementation of the CodeRED system, a high-speed emergency notification service provided by Emergency Communications Network.

Kenton County has been provided an initial database of residential and business telephone numbers, however, all residents are encouraged to visit http://bit.ly/KCCodeRED to enroll additional contact information including cell phone numbers, text and email addresses. If you live in an area with reduced cellular/internet connectivity, please make sure to register your land line phone in addition to cellular devices. No one should automatically assume they are in the emergency contact database.

“The CodeRED system will provide County officials with a reliable, easy-to-use interface to quickly disseminate critical information to our citizens during emergencies. We are very eager to use this technology to enhance our emergency preparedness plans,” said Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann. The County anticipates using the system to notify residents in specific geographic locations of emergencies such as fires, floods, and Amber Alerts and other critical announcements such as shelter information boil notices, shelter in place and evacuations.

The CodeRED system will be imperative to the County’s emergency planning and communications outreach to both citizens and County personnel by using the system capabilities to send telephone calls, text messages, emails and social media in an effort to effectively inform residents to protect life and property.

“We need all residents to take the time to update their information,” said Homeland Security & Emergency Management Director Steve Hensley. “The success of this system is dependent upon citizens entering their information. The more accurate contacts we have, the better we can notify County residents of emergencies.”

The App can be downloaded for free from the iPhone App store as well as the Android Google Play store.

Kenton County Plan4Health highlighted at national meeting

Posted on November 03, 2016
Kenton County’s Plan4Health Coalition was recognized recently at the American Planning Association’s (APA) Fall Leadership Meetings in Washington, DC. The meetings brought together chapter presidents and planners from across the country to learn about the latest topics in the field and plan for the future of the association.

James Fausz, AICP, a senior planner at PDS attended the meetings on behalf of the Kentucky Chapter of APA.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see work from our Plan4Health project presented by national APA staff to planners and chapter leaders as examples of high quality work,” Fausz said. “We know that we do good work for our communities, but it was exciting to see that work presented as an example for the rest of the country.”

The Kenton County Plan4Health project was a yearlong planning effort to increase access to nutritious food across the county. The program worked to achieve this goal through several efforts including building a better link between urban markets and rural food producers, focusing on corner stores in urban communities, and even hosting a healthy foods summit near the end of the program.

“From the start, the Kenton County team hit the ground running with a clear strategy for assessing the environment and taking a comprehensive look at the food system,” said Anna Ricklin, AICP, Manager of the Planning and Community Health Center for APA. “Their work and its results serve as excellent examples of what can happen when staff from public health and planning agencies come together with a united goal to support community needs.”

The Kenton County Plan4Health program was established by a $135,000 grant from APA via its partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The program was a collaborative effort and included professional staff from the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington, Inc., American Planning Association-Kentucky Chapter, Northern Kentucky Health Department, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), and PDS.

Direction 2030 comprehensive plan earns national award

Posted on March 24, 2016

Kenton County’s new comprehensive plan—Direction 2030: Your Voice. Your Choiceis the 2016 recipient of a national Award of Excellence in the Comprehensive Plan – Large Jurisdiction category. The award is one of several accolades granted to planning projects from across the nation by the American Planning Association (APA) County Planning Division and its sister organization, the National Association of County Planners. The award will be presented on April 4 during the APA National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

“This recognition was a nice surprise,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, executive director of Planning and Development Services of Kenton County (PDS). PDS provides professional staff support to the Kenton County Planning Commission, the board ultimately responsible for crafting and adopting the comprehensive plan.

“Being acknowledged with the respect of your peers is outstanding. In this case, though, it recognizes the fact that this plan was the result of hard work by members of the planning commission, citizens and interest groups from across the county, and of course our staff. This plan was truly a collaborative effort,” said Gordon.

Direction 2030: Your Voice. Your Choice. was crafted through an aggressive three-year public engagement process. The plan was grounded in research provided by a national market analyst, most of it from sources bankers use for reviewing development-financing strategies.

Planners and technical experts from PDS’ GIS team then went to work crafting an entirely new concept for content delivery. The final plan (direction2030.org)—there is no printed product—documents its creation, delivers guidance to anyone anywhere 24/7/365, and incorporates GIS technologies to entice users to interact with its contents.

Shortly after the plan’s adoption, PDS planners and GIS professionals created a second website (action.direction2030.org) to keep participants and stakeholders up to date with information from the various implementation efforts being undertaken by the planning commission and others across the community.

This national award follows an Award of Merit for an Outstanding Comprehensive Plan given last year by the Kentucky Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Each year the American Planning Association’s County Planning Division and the National Association of County Planners gives out County Planning Project Awards. Only one Award of Excellence and one Award of Merit may be granted per category each year. If the awards jury finds that none of the nominations in a particular category meets the desirable standards, they may withhold the award in that category for that year.

“This recognition, without question, goes ultimately to the countless residents who came out to express their hopes and dreams for Kenton County’s future. Much more than merely a title, Direction 2030: Your Voice. Your Choice. really did represent the ultimate goal for our process and our final product,” concluded Gordon. “We couldn’t be prouder that our collaborative efforts are being held up as a model.”

“Thank you Kenton County!”


Website shows heathy progress across US and Kenton County

Posted on October 12, 2015

Work by PDS staff and its partnering organizations continues on Kenton County’s Plan4Health community grant. That work and its results are being made available on a new website that details the $135,000 awarded to the county’s partnering organizations by the American Planning Association with funds from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Awarded to a handful of communities across the country, Plan4Health aims to connect communities by funding work at the intersection of planning and public health. The Kenton County Plan4Health Coalition includes PDS, the Northern Kentucky Health Department, the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington, and OKI.

As called for in the group’s application, the various staffs are working to provide access to nutritious food across the county. Current efforts include a countywide assessment of food deserts—underserved neighborhoods with little or no access to healthy food due to mobility, availability, affordability, or a combination of the three. The assessment found a handful of underserved areas located in the urban areas of Kenton County.

Following this assessment, the partners’ work has focused on a corner store initiative that seeks to increase the supply and demand of nutritious food options in urban areas of the county. The program provides stores owners with a number of financial and marking incentives used to accommodate and market healthy food options to customers.

Incentives may include the provision of new equipment or retrofitting the existing layout of the store to accommodate healthy food options. The coalition is currently in the process of approaching targeted store locations and owners in the most underserved areas of the county.

Kenton County Plan4Health partners are excited to connect with community members. If you would like to learn more about the project and all coalitions participating in this initiative, check out the project website and join the national conversation by following #plan4health.

 


OKI adopts new Kenton transportation priorities into regional plan

Posted on August 15, 2014

PDS and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) staffs began updating the 2003 Kenton County Transportation Plan last summer. The project included a completely-new examination of mobility issues and recommendations for Kenton County. Upon its formal adoption in June, the new plan became the official transportation planning document for the county and part of OKI’s transportation priorities for the metro area.

The study encompassed numerous phases throughout the yearlong effort. Some of the key points of the project included: technical analysis of GIS data; outreach to the public via an online survey; working sessions with planners and transportation professionals from around the county; key-person interviews with stakeholders; a public meeting; and, direction from a multidiscipline advisory team.

The plan also involved an in-depth review of areas where land uses were expected to intensify and assess their implications on future transportation needs.

“We knew a stronger connection between land use and transportation was needed before we even got started on the plan’s text,” explained James Fausz, AICP, PDS’ lead on the study team. “A lot of transportation plans look at where development has occurred and make plans to retrofit wider roads. Our idea was to consider where future development is anticipated and use that information to help rank projects.”

The effort resulted in a Future Land Use Demands map that identifies areas where commercial, industrial, and residential uses are likely to intensify. Transportation engineers then interpreted the uses and acreages to produce trip generation figures and show how many additional vehicles might be expected in an area.

Sixty-six recommendations were crafted by the professionals and advisory team and incorporated into the final plan. Projects were multimodal in nature and included recommendations such as: sidewalk construction to fill gaps in the existing network; bicycle amenities; transit enhancements; and, new/improved roadway facilities. The recommendations also included cost estimates for design, utilities, rights of way, and construction to help provide a guide for prioritization.

“The plan does a great job of addressing the needs for Kenton County moving forward,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, who is both PDS’ executive director and a member of the OKI Board of Directors. “Not only will the recommendations be used to make our projects eligible for funding through OKI, the document also serves as the basis of the mobility section of the new Direction 2030 comprehensive plan.”

The Kenton County Transportation Plan was adopted by the OKI Board of Directors on June 12, 2014, becoming the county’s official transportation planning document. Furthermore, the plan is completely web based and available online here.


Piner tornado brings people together, prompts survey

Posted on February 04, 2014
By the time a tornado struck Piner in March 2012, devastating the community and structures to the east of it, a small group of area citizens had met several times to try to bring their neighbors together. The immediate needs prompted by the Class 5 storm solidified that group’s goals and provided fuel to move it forward.

Talk of bringing neighbors and friends together was replaced quickly by actions that were more effective in helping southern Kenton County residents see the value of working together. While pursuing relief efforts, group members also sought to bring structure to residents who value individualism and privacy. The strategy worked.

As the storm’s devastation transitioned to a memory, local discussions moved on to Direction 2030, a coordinated effort by the Kenton County Planning Commission to engage as many Kenton County residents in the crafting of a new comprehensive plan for the community.

Residents got together and discussed past planning efforts and current needs. In order to get a comprehensive understanding of the area’s needs, the group decided to pursue a survey of their friends and neighbors across the southern part of the county. With the support of Kenton County Fiscal Court, NKAPC, and the Kenton County Agriculture Extension office, group members mailed approximately 3100 surveys to all households on January 10.

Three-hundred fifty responses were needed for the survey to be considered statistically significant; the community came together and returned more than a 1000 surveys.

The survey document was developed by Dr. Lori Garkovich with University of Kentucky who has extensive experience dealing with rural issues in other parts of Kentucky. Garkovich helped with a planning effort in 1996 for this part of Kenton County and has a good understanding of the community. After the survey was developed, it was shared with a group of residents for initial feedback to ensure the questions were clear and understood.

The survey includes demographic questions that will provide general information on the respondents such as how long they have lived in southern Kenton county and their reasons for moving to that part of the community.

During the preliminary planning process one of the main themes raised by residents was the need to preserve the rural heritage of the area. In order to capture the varied perceptions of rural heritage, additional questions regarding what defines rural heritage were also included in the survey so as to provide a variety of options including farms, large homes, small stores, large office buildings and retail. Also included are questions regarding respondents’ satisfaction with existing roadways, Internet access, employment centers, access to retail and residential development.

“The survey is a way for public and elected officials to understand better who we are and what our needs are,” said Bill Schneider, a resident of Cruise Creek Road in southern Kenton County. “The individual leadership that has come forth to design the survey is inspiring. We are thrilled with the huge response that shows how hungry our citizens are to be heard.”

The survey response period was closed on January 31, 2014. Staff is compiling the data that will be sent to Garkovich for analysis. Results will be available in mid-late March.

Focus groups and public meetings are being planned to seek additional input. “This is a very community- driven planning process for an area of the county that has a very strong sense of community,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, planning manager at NKAPC. “We are providing a service and helping the process by facilitating and bringing in resources as necessary.”

The results of the survey and information gathered from focus groups and public meetings will be used to develop policy for the southern portion of Kenton County as part of the Direction 2030 planning effort. The comprehensive plan for 40 years has promoted growth and development north of this area while encouraging the protection of the agriculture and rural nature of Southern Kenton County.

This effort will help determine if the policy is still valid or if changes need to be made to represent community desire.