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:

Urban residents, groups gear up for Direction 2030 implementation

Posted on March 02, 2015
Efforts to implement Direction 2030, Kenton County’s new comprehensive plan, are currently underway in the urban subarea of the county. The urban subarea is one of four such areas identified within Direction 2030 as having a distinct development character and associated needs. It is the second subarea targeted for implementation by PDS staff. Other subareas are rural, suburban, and first-ring suburban.

Implementation will kick off with a series of meetings with city staff, local officials, and representatives from agencies and organizations in the urban project area which includes Ludlow, Bromley, and the urban areas of Covington.

While the project has just begun recently, the primary objectives have been set. They are to focus on action-oriented tasks which directly implement the recommendations of Direction 2030. The urban areas of Kenton County currently contain a number of agencies and organizations whose missions revolve around fostering better communities. Initial work includes meeting with stakeholders to identify those areas of implementation that would accelerate redevelopment efforts within the urban core.

“The momentum that has been generated by redevelopment projects coupled with increased demand for space within urban area provides a backdrop for building a dynamic area,” said Michael Ionna, AICP, principal planner for PDS and project manager for urban implementation efforts. “We believe this can help initiate a true live, work, and play environment.”

Ionna asserts further that the subarea process allows staff to work on those key projects, across jurisdictions that will assist in creating a strong urban core.”

The initial life of the urban subarea project is anticipated to last between six to eight months. Following this phase of the project, staff will begin work on planning processes and collaborative efforts to implement solutions which provide the greatest impact to the residents of the urban subarea.

Efforts are currently underway to create a website that will provide information on all Direction 2030-related implementation efforts including those in the urban subarea and is anticipated to be launched in mid-March.

Direction 2030 implementation efforts re-engaging citizens and groups

Posted on February 02, 2015
Work on implementing Direction 2030—Kenton County’s new comprehensive plan—is now underway. Four months since its formal adoption, the plan’s vision is providing the driving force for bringing the community together again. The difference is on the focus, with implementation being the goal.

Direction 2030 identified unique needs within each of Kenton County’s four sub-areas: urban, first ring suburbs, suburban, and rural. The first area of focus for implementation is the rural sub-area. The initiative taken by the residents of southern Kenton County during preparation of the plan offered a natural progression into immediate implementation.
 
The South Kenton Citizens Group has organized itself around four committees that will each address one of the plan’s topics. These committees were formed in October, immediately following adoption of Direction 2030. Their goals are to pursue research and find creative ways for implementation. The topics being addressed by these committees are roads, utilities, zoning, and agricultural education and marketing. Each committee includes seven to ten residents from the area.

“The committees will get together soon to share ideas and then continue to work individually on their assigned issues. By fall every committee will have a good handle on the specific strategies that should be pursued for each of the four topic areas,” said Edward Dietrich, AICP, principal planner with PDS and project manager for rural sub-area efforts.

The zoning committee, for example, is analyzing whether zoning currently in place is effective in preserving the rural heritage of southern Kenton County. Members are also researching ways in which other communities have handled rural zoning. At the end of the process—after input from the larger community—they will focus on implementing a specific strategy that will promote the policies established by Direction 2030 for the rural sub-area.

 “We are a very active group of citizens who care deeply about our rural community. We knew it was important to get involved in the planning phase to make our voices heard. Now we are organizing ourselves around what needs to be accomplished in terms of implementation,” said Kathy Donohoue, a resident of southern Kenton County.

Partner organizations including the Northern Kentucky Water District and the Northern Kentucky Area Development District are working with PDS staff to support the group in its efforts.

Implementation efforts in the urban sub-area are anticipated to begin in late January. These efforts will be tailored specifically towards the topics of interest to urban residents and pursued through a planning process that works for the urban core.

Direction 2030 adoption prompts terminology changes in zoning ordinances

Posted on January 26, 2015
Adoption of the Direction 2030 comprehensive plan in September marked the beginning of efforts to implement it. Almost immediately, several zoning text modifications needed to be made to each of Kenton County’s 20 zoning ordinances to reflect terminology that changed in the new plan.

Key terms such as ‘urban service area’ and ‘physically restrictive development area’ have been used in Kenton County’s planning documents and zoning ordinances for decades. Direction 2030 established new terminology for these terms following calls from the community to develop new terms more reflective of the policies. Consistent terminology between the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances is necessary to avoid confusion in administration.

Last month, the Kenton County Planning Commission approved a favorable recommendation on four zoning text amendments that are required to bring the zoning ordinance of each of Kenton County’s 20 jurisdictions into compliance with Direction 2030.

The first relates to physically restrictive development area (PRDA). This terminology was modified to developmentally sensitive area (DSA) in the comprehensive plan. References to PRDA occured mostly in the hillside related regulations and will be referenced as DSA moving forward. The intent behind this policy is to alert developers of land that may be sensitive to development based on the presence of certain geologic characteristics. During the public process, the new term was determined to be more reflective of this intent.

The second modification is related to the term ‘urban service area’. This was modified to include two terms—‘urban/suburban focus area’ and ‘rural focus area’. Again, this is reflective of conversations pursued with the community during the comprehensive plan process.

The changing nature of agricultural operations in the county requires a certain level of service. Infrastructure such as internet and cell service is vital in keeping up with modern technology used in agriculture particularly as it relates to agritourism. The new policy promotes the idea of focusing on the specific needs of each area rather than looking at services for the county as a whole.

The third and fourth requests, while not related to Direction 2030 require changes to be made to all zoning ordinances. NKAPC changed its name to Planning and Development Services of Kenton County (PDS) in July. Every zoning ordinance assigns certain responsibilities to staff and refers to NKAPC. The new name of the agency will now be reflected in ordinances following this change.

The fourth request pertains to clearly assigning the floodplain administrator in each jurisdiction.

“These amendments were anticipated during the final stages of the comprehensive plan process,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, PDS’ planning manager. “We’re working with our 20 legislative bodies now to act on these changes fairly soon to avoid any confusion.”

Direction2030.org provides interactive maps for those with questions

Posted on December 01, 2014
Direction 2030, Kenton County’s first completely new comprehensive plan since 1972 and PDS’ first completely digital comprehensive plan was adopted three months ago. If you haven’t yet visited the website, take a few minutes to learn more about the vision for the community and interact with the electronic plan.

The online format allows users to navigate easily through the entire comprehensive plan in a way that was not possible previously using a hardcopy plan.

One of the more exciting features incorporated with the Direction 2030 website is the addition of interactive maps that correspond with the plan’s different elements. Each map was customized to incorporate geographic features important to the element of the comprehensive plan they are supporting. Users can navigate in and around Kenton County and simply click on features in the map to find out more information.

The Direction 2030 website marks the first time PDS has incorporated interactive mapping directly into an adopted plan or study. PDS has used similar technology in the past on the LINK-GIS website. This new approach, however, combines new mapping technology with a completely digital plan. The final product enables planners to reach a broader audience and empower the people of Kenton County to learn more about what the comprehensive plan means to them and their community.
 
“Our primary goal with the web-based plan was to use the power of technology to create a user-friendly experience for a plan that can otherwise be daunting,” explained Sharmili Reddy, AICP, planning manager for PDS and project manager for the comprehensive plan. “For instance, if you’re interested in learning more about the location of parks in the Community Facilities element of the plan, you can use the map feature, zoom into different areas, and get more information about the park, all on the same page.”

While users can view the embedded map with the associated text, there are more features just a click away. A link to a larger interactive map is available under the embedded maps on the website. Clicking the link for the larger interactive map opens a full screen sized map that not only provides the user a larger view but also offers the ability to turn layers on and off and measure features on the map.
 
In total there are ten interactive maps embedded in the comprehensive plan that include topics ranging from Environment to the Economy and everything in between.  

Visit www.direction2030.org to interact with the maps and learn more about Kenton County’s revolutionary new plan.

Direction 2030 plan adopted 19-0; effort begins to implement it

Posted on November 06, 2014

After 40 years of amendments to its 1972 edition, Kenton County has a brand new comprehensive plan. The Kenton County Planning Commission unanimously approved the new plan titled Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice on September 4. The new plan was created after seven public meetings and over 110 small group meetings over a period of two years.

Direction 2030
is based on a new statement of goals and objectives and is the first web-based plan in the metro region. Adoption of the plan not only paves the way for newer considerations to be taken into account during the development process, it also encourages greater community conversation within each of the plan’s four designated subareas - urban, first-ring, suburban, and rural.

Direction 2030 includes recommendations that take into consideration the demographic shifts that are happening, the comments we heard from residents, and the processes we need to look at with a fresh perspective,” said Martin Scribner, AICP, Director of Planning and Zoning at PDS. “Now that the plan is adopted, we’re gearing up to focus our efforts on implementation.”

Two primary projects under consideration include implementation by subarea and evaluating zoning changes needed to bring regulations into compliance with the new comprehensive plan.

The subarea process was built into Direction 2030 based on the recognition that each area of the county has unique needs. The focus in the urban area will be to strengthen the vitality of the urban core through historic preservation, infill development on vacant and underutilized properties, and to build upon the strong sense of neighborhood and community.

The goal in the rural area will be to preserve and enhance the viability of the rural heritage, to encourage the preservation of the rural character, and to remove barriers to support local agricultural operations.

“Our subarea processes will be action-oriented within each of the four areas. This effort will allow us to work with residents, cities, and other partners to prioritize the recommendations made in Direction 2030 and focus on implementation.” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, Planning Manager at PDS.

Direction 2030
also revamped several land use related policies based on community needs. Implementation of these policies will require a re-evaluation of Kenton County’s many zoning ordinances. Land use categories such as mixed use were introduced for the first time in the comprehensive plan to promote the mixture of uses and recognize the flexibility needed to react to market conditions. Each of the 20 cities within Kenton County has their own zoning code which will need to be evaluated for compliance with Direction 2030.

Both projects – subarea implementation and zoning code evaluation, are slated to begin next month.


Kenton County comprehensive plan has been approved

Posted on September 08, 2014

The Kenton County Planning Commission last week did what none of its predecessors had done since 1972. It adopted a totally new comprehensive plan complete with a new statement of goals and objectives. Called Direction 2030: Your Voice Your Choice, the plan can be accessed here.

In addition to being totally new in content, Direction 2030 is being presented in a totally new format. 

"It is not a printed document," said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, executive director of Planning and Development Services of Kenton County (PDS). PDS is staff to the Kenton County Planning Commission.

"It’s an interactive, web-based site. Everything you want to know about the process, the goals and objectives established early on in the process and then the structure built on top of those goals, it's all there. It's a pretty robust site."

The website also includes interactive land use maps which let the user find answers to questions on a site-specific level. 

Gordon said printed copies of a comprehensive plan could cost as high as $200 each. Instead, the technology-based version will be accessible to citizens and potential developers looking to familiarize themselves with the county's planning goals and objectives.


Direction 2030 text is complete; community public hearing next

Posted on August 15, 2014

The three-year effort to develop a new comprehensive plan for Kenton County--Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice--is complete. The recommendations and associated tasks has been finalized and reviewed by the task force; work on the web-based plan is being wrapped up and preparation of necessary documentation is underway for presentation to the Kenton County Planning Commission (KCPC). That hearing will take place on the evening of September 4th.

State statutes require a public hearing be held prior to action and adoption of the comprehensive plan to allow one last review and public comment.

“This comprehensive plan boasts a brand new set of goals and objectives, after functioning under the same ones for 40 years,” said Paul Darpel, KCPC chairman. “The new plan provides a roadmap and a list of planning priorities for Kenton County. But the most important aspect of this three-year process is that it provided everyone multiple opportunities to participate; and engaged community leaders, residents and elected officials in capacities like never before. We are also excited about the final product that has been produced which is completely web-based – one that may be the first of its kind in the region.”

Comprehensive planning is required to be carried out every five years in Kentucky. A comprehensive plan must be in place to enact zoning and subdivision regulations.

“We take this process very seriously and invest time into it not so much because it is required by state statute. We undertake this because it gives us a chance to interact with the people we serve – the residents of Kenton County. There are so many thoughts and opinions about the future of Kenton County in terms of planning needs; this was a great way to bring it all together,” concluded Dennis Gordon, FAICP, PDS’ executive director.

More information about the project can be found at the Direction 2030 website.


Direction 2030 Public Open House

Posted on June 11, 2014
Major Milestone Approaching for Kenton County’s Future

Planning for Kenton County’s future is approaching a major milestone. The area‐wide comprehensive plan, Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice, is nearing completion. The citizens of Kenton County are invited to review the components of the plan a final time before a formal application is submitted to the Kenton County Planning Commission.

What: Public Open House
When: There will be two sessions on June 18, 2014; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.   Rain Date: June 23, 2014
Where: The Clock Tower at Crestview Hills Town Center; 2791 Town Center Boulevard, Crestview Hills, KY
Why: This plan is important! The world is a different place than it was 10 years ago, and research indicates that it will continue to change. Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice is a strategy to address the challenges and possibilities of the next 20 years and aimed at making Kenton County competitive in the local, national, and global economies.

Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice
is a community planning initiative centered on public input. Over 70 meetings were held with the public, small groups, and business and civic leaders. From this input, several themes emerged:
  • Different generations have different, and sometimes competing, desires.
  • Different areas of the county have different needs and desires. While Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice paints broad brush strokes over the entire county, more focused planning efforts are needed for the Rural, Suburban, First‐Ring Suburban, and Urban Core areas.
  • It is important to seek out ways that resources can be used more wisely and efficiently to serve the residents of Kenton County.
  • Jobs and economic competitiveness are paramount issues that need to be addressed for Kenton County to be a desirable place to live for all generations.
Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice makes recommendations on eight specific elements that are important for growth in Kenton County. These recommendations are based on brand new Goals and Objectives for the county. This is the first time in over 40 years that a new set of Goals and Objectives are guiding the recommendations of the plan.

Another new concept that Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice introduces is that it will be an entirely web based plan. Gone are the days of massive documents that are difficult to navigate and hard to find relevant information. The streamlined web‐based plan will make it easier for everyone to locate the information they seek without paging through a document or sifting through large PDFs.

Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice is a plan that reflects the values of the residents of Kenton County. This plan is the quintessential way that residents can have a say in how local resources are used, and determine how future growth occurs in Kenton County.

More information is available on the project’s website: www.direction2030.org.

Planners prepare Direction 2030 plan for final public hearing

Posted on May 23, 2014
Nearly two years in the making and over 150 public meetings later, Kenton County’s new comprehensive plan Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice is in the final stages of completion. Draft policies and recommendations are being finalized, task force comments are being discussed, outreach to legislative bodies is being undertaken, and a web-based plan is in the works.

One final public input session is also currently being discussed prior to submitting an application to the Kenton County Planning Commission for consideration in September.

Draft policies and recommendations cover eight topic areas: economy, housing, mobility, land use, environment, community facilities, utility management, and regional and subarea plans. This is the first major update since the comprehensive plan was first crafted and adopted in 1972. Several major policy changes are being considered based on changing demographics and market conditions.

The recommended land use map will include new categories of mixed use and a more generalized definition of commercial to allow for market conditions to direct land usage. Jobs were indicated as the highest priority for those that provided input throughout the process. Industrial land use policies while always aiming to seek more land for economic development also strives to bring attention to the need for infrastructure in areas reserved for these uses.

In addition, the need to provide community amenities and a wider mix of housing types to attract a talented workforce is discussed.

“This plan represents the varied viewpoints of everyone in this community,” said Paul Darpel, Chairman of the Kenton County Planning Commission. “We heard everything from the need to attract jobs, provide for good housing, protection of property rights, accommodating multi-modal options, consideration of public health, and the environment throughout this process. We have tried to capture everything and present it as a vision for Kenton County.”

The draft policies also recognize the county’s four distinct subareas for the first time and the different needs of these areas. The four subareas include urban, first ring suburbs, suburban, and rural, each contributing differently to the regional and local economy.

The plan recognizes the need to focus urban development north of Walton Nicholson Pike while preserving the heritage to the south by promoting rural development and preservation policies. Increased collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries and the need for regional thinking is also addressed.

“The recommended policies also take into account other planning efforts underway such as OKI’s strategic regional planning effort, the Kenton County transportation plan, and the South Kenton planning effort in addition to the needs and vision that local jurisdictions have for their communities. This planning process brings it all together to represent one voice for Kenton County,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, NKAPC’s planning manager.

Draft policies will be presented to the public in late summer and then to the Kenton County Planning Commission in early fall. More information about the project can be found at the Direction 2030 website.


Kenton County transportation plan nears June completion

Posted on May 23, 2014
OKI and NKAPC staffs began studies last summer for a new Kenton County transportation plan. The collaboration researched mobility issues, analyzed transportation data, prompted meetings with the project’s advisory team, and included input directly from the public. It is now yielding a plan with nearly 70 recommendations.

“Recent efforts to collect input on the plan were very successful,” explained Robyn Bancroft, AICP, Strategic Planning Manager for OKI. “Through our outreach efforts, coupled with promotion from NKAPC, we received almost 400 views of the draft recommendations page during April. Of those viewers, more than 60 individual comments were received from the public.”

The comments received during the comment period helped to further refine the draft recommendations and move them toward a more finalized product.

The advisory team met in early May to consider revisions based on public input. The team also worked to define the final list of projects and refine the recommendation rankings. Work is now underway to prepare the final document with an early-June target date for completion. The final plan should be available online in mid- to late-June.

Ranging from filling sidewalk gaps to improving major interstate interchanges, the recommendations cover a wide swath of mobility needs for the county’s citizens. Reconstructing the westbound I-275 interchange with I-71/75, creating the Licking River Greenway Trail, constructing a new Fourth Street Bridge, finishing the sidewalk along Dixie Highway in Covington, and building a new Edgewood Park & Ride are all multimodal recommendations found within the plan.

The preparation of this plan coincides with the Direction 2030 comprehensive planning project that is in the final phase. “Transportation is a major element of our comprehensive planning process,” explained Sharmili Reddy, AICP, NKAPC’s planning manager.

“In an effort to be good stewards of public money, we decided to combine both efforts and use the OKI-NKAPC transportation plan as the basis for our transportation recommendations in Direction 2030. We recognize that there are mobility needs beyond major roadways but the transportation plan is a good overview of the predominant needs in the county.”

You may check the NKAPC or OKI websites for more information on the transportation plan.

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