Direction 2030

"Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice" is a community planning initiative centered on public input to develop the new Kenton County comprehensive plan. NO Image:

Public Open House for southern Kenton County

Posted on July 15, 2019
The Kenton County Fiscal Court is holding a public open house on July 22, 2019 to display findings of a research effort for the future of southern Kenton County. If you live, work, play, or learn in southern Kenton County, please plan to attend the meeting anytime between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on July 22, 2019 at Piner Baptist Church (15044 Madison Pike, Morning View, KY 41063).

Over the last several months, the Fiscal Court has been working with Planning and Development Services of Kenton County (PDS) staff to conduct in-depth research for the south Kenton area. The effort has reviewed everything from natural features to the location of infrastructure to gain as clear a picture as possible before moving from research to the planning phase. Now, the county would like to get your input on the research to date and any additional research needs before moving to the next phase of the project.

To best display the research, a public open house will be held to provide participants an opportunity to learn about topics in-depth, ask questions of staff, and provide input for official consideration. As the meeting is an open house, people can come any time that is convenient between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

This meeting is part of an ongoing project seeking to update the Direction 2030 comprehensive plan for all communities in Kenton County. This specific meeting will present research on existing conditions, describe trends that could impact southern Kenton County, and establish a foundation for updating the plan for the unincorporated area in the next phase of the project. The associated research builds upon public involvement efforts that started in 2011, continued via surveys that were distributed to all south Kenton County addresses in 2014 and 2016, and is ongoing in the form of the South Kenton Citizens Group.

Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice is a strong public-engagement process intended to prepare Kenton County for the challenges and possibilities of the future. For more information, visit the project website at www.direction2030.org.

Public encouraged to participate in updating award-winning plan

Posted on July 09, 2019
Kenton County Planning Commission (KCPC) members seek your input to make sure proposed changes to its award-winning Direction 2030 comprehensive plan reflect the desires of the community. If you live, work, play, or learn in Kenton County, please visit Direction2030.org/draft-changes by July 22 to provide your thoughts.

It has been five short years since the KCPC adopted Kenton County’s comprehensive plan. State law requires that comprehensive plans across the commonwealth be reviewed and revised as necessary every five years.

“When we created Direction 2030, we set out to make a new kind of plan that was more flexible and responsive to changes in our fast-paced world,” explained Jeff Bethell, chair of KCPC’s Implementation Committee. “We have already worked with the public and made some amendments to the plan based on specific topics. Now, we want to step back and take a more thorough look at the overall recommendations and get people’s input as we move towards that magic five-year anniversary mark.”

KCPC is requesting public review and input on draft changes that have been identified by its staff and experts ranging from utilities to transportation officials to the development community. The review and comment period will take place over the next two weeks and will allow interested persons to review the draft text and map changes, and then provide comments directly on the website.

“Conducting an online review and input session is a first in our comprehensive planning efforts,” said James Fausz, AICP, Long Range Planning Manager for Planning and Development Services of Kenton County (PDS), the planning commission’s staff.

“Seeing as the plan exists only online, we felt an online review was most appropriate for the proposed changes. The format gives people a chance to get into the plan’s details and see how everything will function if adopted by KCPC.”

After the review period closes, PDS staff will compile comments and provide them to the KCPC’s Implementation Committee. That group will decide on any appropriate changes before finalizing and submitting the final draft to the full Commission for official consideration.

The plan is scheduled for a public hearing before the full KCPC on September 5, 2019 starting at 6:15 p.m. Details on the final draft changes and location for the meeting are anticipated to be available in August.

Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice is a strong public-engagement process intended to prepare Kenton County for the challenges and possibilities of the future. For more information, visit the project website at Direction2030.org.

Kenton comprehensive plan updated on new schedule

Posted on August 24, 2018

The Kenton County Planning Commission (KCPC) has updated the county’s award-winning comprehensive plan, Direction 2030: Your Voice. Your Choice. after considerable work by the commission’s staff. State law requires that comprehensive plans be reviewed and updated by local planning commissions every five years. The KCPC adopted Direction 2030 in 2014.

Direction 2030 was originally designed to take Kenton County’s planning program in a new direction,” said James Fausz, AICP, Long-Range Planning Manager for PDS of Kenton County. PDS provides professional staff for the Kenton County Planning Commission.

“This latest round of updates continues with the plan’s new path. While the plan’s online-only format was a definite paradigm shift, reviewing and amending the plan more frequently than every five years  allows us to be more responsive to our communities’ needs. These recent amendments are a perfect example of this new direction.”

A number of Kenton County’s elected officials approached PDS staff of late, wanting to update their respective future land use maps. These maps provide direction to elected leaders and the planning commission when they’re faced with rezoning requests.

According to Fausz, the new approach of updating the plan when necessary (but no less frequently than every five years) “allowed us to respond to the cities’ needs in a more timely manner, putting them in the best position to be proactive for the future.”

The recent amendments to Direction 2030:

·        updated the Recommended Land Use map for the Cities of Bromley, Edgewood, Elsmere, Erlanger, Fort Mitchell, Independence, Ludlow, and Ryland Heights;

·        updated several elements to insert recommendations and maps from Kenton Connects, the county’s new bicycle/pedestrian plan;  

·        updated the interactive land use map to reflect the state’s more detailed proposed alignment for KY 536 from Staffordsburg Road to KY 177 and remove a proposed arterial connecting KY 16 and KY 177; and,

·        updated and amended the description for Mixed Use; and, updated the Community Service Areas for Cox Road, KY 16, KY 536, and KY 1303.

Direction 2030 may be found online. Questions should be directed to PDS at 859.331.8980.

 


Kenton Connects scheduled for action

Posted on July 10, 2018

The Kenton County Planning Commission will act next month on a bicycle and pedestrian plan for Kenton County. The year-long effort to craft the plan concluded recently with an open-house forum at Dixie Heights High School. If approved by the Planning Commission, the new plan titled Kenton Connects will be incorporated into Direction 2030, the Kenton County comprehensive plan to guide future mobility decisions across the community.

Kenton Connects replaces the county’s two stand-alone plans. The Kenton County Bicycle Plan was adopted by the Kenton County Planning Commission in June 1999. And, the Kenton County Pedestrian Plan was adopted by the Planning Commission in June 2001.

For more information on Kenton Connects, logon to the plan’s website, email cschneider@pdskc.org, or call him at 859.331.8980.


Zoning for the 21st Century videos

Posted on January 30, 2018
Kenton County’s 19 zoning ordinances were developed during the early 1980s based on a “model” ordinance crafted by PDS’ predecessor organization. Except for the City of Covington which rewrote its ordinance during the mid-2000s, these ordinances have not been updated in a comprehensive manner since then.

Most of these ordinances continue to regulate with their original administrative policies and protocols. While close to 80 percent of their texts remain nearly identical, individual differences have been pursued by local governments in the form of over 700 text amendments just since 2000. Almost all of these were undertaken on a reactionary basis, addressing new development trends or specific issues that were unique to them.

The Kenton County Planning Commission adopted Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice, the county’s comprehensive plan, in 2014. This was the first wholesale rewriting of the communities’ comprehensive plan since their first was adopted in the early 1970s. The process that led to this new plan included over 100 opportunities for input from the public, staff from the county and cities, elected officials, developers, and other interested parties. Numerous goals, objectives, recommendations, and tasks resulted from that input, voicing the need for updating the various jurisdictions’ zoning ordinances.

PDS embarked on a project in 2016 to accomplish this—to create Zoning for the 21st Century (Z21).

Part 1: The Zoning Code Audit
Part 1 of this 3-part series summarizes PDS’ consultant team’s approach to the zoning audit process and what it looked for when it reviewed Kenton County’s zoning ordinances. This process resulted in detailed recommendations for updating those ordinances. (The full presentation was presented originally to the Z21 Task Force on June 20, 2017.)

Part 2: Analysis and Overall Recommendations
Part 2 of this 3-part series explains the consultant team’s 30,000-foot-view recommendations for Kenton County’s zoning ordinances. These recommendations were based on the team’s analysis as described in Part 1. (The full presentation was presented originally to the Z21 Task Force on September 20, 2017.)

Part 3: Detailed Recommendations
Part 3 of this 3-part series describes the consultant team’s detailed recommendations for Kenton County’s zoning ordinances. These recommendations build on the 30,000-foot-view recommendations discussed in Part 2. (The full presentation was presented originally to the Z21 Task Force on January 17, 2018.)

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.

 



Staff preps for bicycle/pedestrian plan; grant will pay for outreach efforts

Posted on May 04, 2017
Initial steps are being taken now for a completely new bicycle and pedestrian plan for Kenton County. Preparation and preliminary research for the upcoming study has been ongoing. The public side of the study is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks and is anticipated to take about 12 months to complete. The resulting plan will replace plans adopted in 1999 and 2001.

Goals of the upcoming study include analyzing the county’s existing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, identifying problematic crash locations, and recommending policy changes to improve bicycle and pedestrian use, safety, and access in Kenton County.

“It’s been almost 20 years since bicycle and pedestrian transportation has been reviewed,” said James Fausz, AICP, PDS’ long range planning manager. “Since that time, people have become more aware of these transportation options and chosen them more frequently for everything from recreation to daily commuting. Our goal is to make these options safer for people who want to use them.”

Coinciding with the start of the study is an outreach effort to promote education and awareness of bicycle and pedestrian safety. This effort was aided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet with a generous $10,000 Paula Nye Grant.

The grant is funded through citizen donations during the purchase or renewal of the “Share the Road” license plates and is awarded annually to organizations interested in informing and educating Kentuckians on bicycle and pedestrian transportation. The grant will fund an outreach effort including public service announcements designed to educate the public on how they can be safe as cyclists and pedestrians.

“Bicycle and pedestrian transportation are an increasingly viable options in Kenton County,” said Chris Schneider, AICP, a principal planner at PDS and project manager for the study. “Educating the public to be safe cyclists and pedestrians is essential to continue this growth.”

The public service announcements will air on local cable television and will encourage public involvement and raise awareness for the upcoming bicycle and pedestrian study.

The adoption of the Direction 2030: Your Voice. Your Choice. comprehensive plan in 2014 recommended a comprehensive review and update of the existing bicycle and pedestrian plans. The comprehensive plan details the community’s vision for Kenton County and updating the bicycle and pedestrian plan is one step in achieving that vision.

To learn more about this study, get involved, and/or receive updates about its progress, visit the Direction 2030 Action website or contact Schneider.


Bike/Pedestrian study about to begin; will become part of comp plan

Posted on January 03, 2017

PDS staff began preliminary research recently in preparation for updating Kenton County’s plans for bicycle and pedestrian transportation. Work on the actual study will begin in earnest next month and take roughly 12 months to complete. It will replace plans adopted in 1999 and 2002.

The Kenton County Planning Commission and its 20 local governments utilize two plans currently related to active transportation. The bicycle plan was updated last in 1999 and the pedestrian plan in 2002. Neither subject was covered at length in Direction 2030. Your Voice. Your Choice.—the community’s comprehensive plan.

“These stand-alone plans no longer reflect the needs and issues affecting Kenton County’s bicycle and pedestrian modes of transportation,” said Emi Randall, AICP, RLS, Director of Planning and Zoning at PDS. “And, with growing demand for walkability and healthy lifestyles, now is the time to update these plans.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet aided this effort with a $10,000 Paula Nye Grant to improve safety of non-motorized transportation. As recipient of the grant, PDS will use these funds to educate the public, increase awareness of bicycle and pedestrian safety issues, and raise awareness of the countywide planning effort through a public service announcement campaign.

“Awareness of bicycle and pedestrian safety in Kenton County is becoming an important issue as these modes of transportation become more popular and the demand for these facilities increases,” said Randall.

Comments received during the Direction 2030 planning process were incorporated into the plan’s Statement of Goals and Objectives and Mobility elements of the comprehensive plan. The current bicycle/pedestrian study will be adopted into the plan once it’s completed.

As part of the study, PDS staff will study existing conditions and identify issues and concerns with Kenton County’s existing bicycle and pedestrian system. Goals for the plan include inventorying existing bicycle and pedestrian amenities such as bike lanes, bike routes, walking paths, and signage; and, improving the community’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Adoption of Direction 2030 in September 2014 completed a two-year long process of research and public engagement, ultimately crafting the community’s vision for Kenton County. The adoption of the comprehensive plan was just one of many steps in making that vision become a reality for Kenton County.

If you’re interested in learning more about this study, getting involved, and/or receiving updates about its progress, visit the Direction 2030 Action website or contact Chris Schneider, AICP, Principal Planner.

Staff provides all 20 Jurisdictions with profiles full of information

Posted on November 03, 2016
PDS staff crafted new city data sheets this past summer to offer snapshots of demographic trends, public infrastructure, and development activity for each of Kenton County’s 20 jurisdictions. The sheets are updates of research conducted as a part of Direction 2030: Your Choice Your Voice, Kenton County’s comprehensive plan adopted in 2014.

The updated sheets are now available on the Direction 2030 Action website.
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This edition of the city data sheets features information from a variety of public sources as well as local LINK-GIS data. Some of the most notable additions to the sheets are an inventory of street and sidewalk length, park and tree canopy acreage, traffic counts sourced from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and an assessment of each city’s potential for solar energy production. The sheets also provide housing statistics, demographic data, and a two-year record of building permit requests.

PDS staff presented the sheets to city administrators in each jurisdiction, highlighting local trends within the context of the county.

“The city data sheets provided by PDS show positive trends for our city,” says Chris Moriconi, City Administrator for Independence. “Property values have increased over the past decade along with median household income. I was also excited to see that our population is expected to continue to grow into the year 2020. We are very happy to have this information as it shows our city is moving in the right direction.”

The city administrators also reviewed the information provided by PDS staff, shared local data with staff, and discussed changes they thought might be necessary for the sheets. To ensure the accuracy of statistics, housing and demographic representations were drawn from 2000 and 2010 census tables using 100% survey data.

Staff plans to incorporate some census estimates for years succeeding 2010 in the next update to the data sheets.

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!”


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