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:

Direction 2030 goals and objectives now in final draft form

Posted on December 08, 2012
In November, the third and final round of public meetings regarding the draft statement of goals and objectives yielded over 180 comments from the general public, local officials and organizations. Approximately 40 residents stopped by during the course of two public meetings and discussed their thoughts and concerns regarding the draft.

This statement of goals and objectives is intended as a guide to develop policies and implementation measures in the comprehensive plan. Those currently in place were adopted in 1972 during the preparation of the first Kenton County Comprehensive Plan.

The proposed statement is based on three guiding principles; public participation, economy, and relationship between goals. These are applicable to all the goals and objectives and are expected to be used in moving forward. The proposed goals focus on seven different topics including; healthy communities, economy, health, mobility, natural systems, community identity and governance. Each of these categories includes several objectives that will be used in preparing the remaining elements of the comprehensive plan.

Immediately following the last round of public meetings in November, the Direction 2030 Task Force met to discuss the submitted comments. The task force will address all public comments and post its responses on the project’s website. The draft will then be presented to each of the required legislative bodies as an additional review opportunity prior to submitting an official application for adoption.

In accordance with state statutes, an application will be submitted to the Kenton County Planning Commission (KCPC) for review. The KCPC will offer recommendations to the legislative bodies, which will have 90 days to review the proposed statement of goals and objectives and take action.

“Our process has been open and transparent to date. We have held meetings in multiple locations throughout the county to make it easy for people to attend. We have met with anyone or any organization that has had concerns. We hope that our cities have been following this process closely and offer their support,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, planning manager.


Market data for Direction 2030 may have additional uses

Posted on December 08, 2012
Staff took steps in a new direction when it contracted a market analyst for technical assistance with Kenton County’s first totally-new comprehensive plan since 1972. Based on initial responses to the nature and quality of the data, staff is looking into an ongoing program to marry this type of data with LINK-GIS mapping capabilities for use by local communities, businesses, and economic development officials.

“Our initial reason for engaging the market analyst was relevance,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, executive director. “The free market is one of the most important factors determining whether a comprehensive plan is viable and likely to be implemented. The Great Recession and the ‘new normal’ it’s created makes it all the more critical that we have our finger on the pulse of the local market.

“What we got from our analyst met our initial goal. It also gave us an idea that if we could keep the data updated and available, we could assist a number of interests that work in support of Kenton County’s economic future.”

According to the program strategy being developed by staff, data developed recently by Dinn Focused Marketing would be kept up to date regularly and made available to local interests along with mapping that would make the data all the more relevant. The result, according to the draft strategy, would be more jobs and more business for the local economy.

Gordon says the idea for a “data clearinghouse” came to staff following a meeting with local homebuilders. They acknowledged that the nature and quality of the data are what they typically use when determining where to locate their next residential projects and the price range on which they should focus.

“Our development community takes huge amounts of risk on their own behalf. That means they need data to make the most accurate prediction of what the market is telling them,” said Brian Miller, executive vice president of the Homebuilders Association of Northern Kentucky. “If this data is maintained and regularly updated, we foresee the ability to heat map any demographic and economic changes in areas within the County in order to facilitate a dialogue for a number of reasons.”

Miller continued, “Zone changes, comprehensive plans, and subdivision regulations are relevant by supportive data and adaptation to changes in the local market. Flexibility is key in a more responsive planning process and it is difficult to be flexible without data that bears your assumption out.”

A recent meeting with a Covington task force looking into redeveloping neighborhoods within that city’s urban core validated the idea further, according to Gordon. “Seeing economic indicators on a neighbor-by-neighborhood basis showed these folks where they needed to focus their efforts.”

When asked when such a program might be up and running, Gordon responded that the strategy would be put on the table during upcoming discussions about NKAPC’s budget for fiscal year 2014 (that begins in July 2013). He said that while the funding necessary to make the strategy work would be minimal, he hoped to be able to raise funds outside the agency budget to help with its costs.

“These data could help private sector businesses and, as such, would make public-private partnerships totally appropriate as a funding source to keep the program going,” he concluded.


Direction 2030 Goals and Objectives

Posted on October 29, 2012

Direction 2030: Your Voice. Your Choice.  – a comprehensive planning effort for Kenton County is moving into a third round of public meetings to discuss  the statement of  goals and objectives..

The preparation of goals and objectives is an important step in the planning process as it represents a collective vision for Kenton County.  Upon the completion of these statements, Kenton County’s 20 legislative bodies and the Kenton County Planning Commission will consider them for adoption.

The first of the two meetings will be held at the Blessed Sacrament Church, 2407 Dixie Highway on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.  This Goals and Objectives Workshop will provide the opportunity for the public, various interest groups and organizations to comment on the draft goals and objectives and make suggestions to strengthen these guiding principles for our community.  This will be the last scheduled meeting for acquiring input prior to the draft being finalized.

In addition to the workshop, legislative bodies or organizations that wish to have a more focused group discussion on the draft may arrange to do so before or during the session.  Please contact Sharmili Reddy at sreddy@nkapc.org for further information on scheduling a focused group discussion.

The second of the two meetings will be a Capstone Meeting held on Monday, November 12, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Community Christian School, 11875 Taylor Mill Road, Independence.  This open house format meeting will present the final statement of goals and objectives to the public before it is considered each of Kenton County’s legislative bodies and the Kenton County Planning Commission.


Comp plan’s Goals and Objectives

Posted on October 25, 2012
Meetings with the public, small groups, elected officials, task forces and cities have been the focus of planners working on the Direction 2030 project for the past year. Approximately 65 input sessions have been held to date - an unprecedented amount of public engagement for comprehensive planning efforts in Kenton County. The collected input is currently being analyzed and used in the preparation of the statement of goals and objectives (G&Os) which serves as the guide for policies and implementation measures in the comprehensive plan.

The first statement of goals and objectives for Kenton County were prepared during the adoption of the first comprehensive plan in 1972. The G&Os while reviewed every five years has essentially remained the same for the last 40 years. The economic and demographic changes of the last decade have necessitated the review and rework of these goals and objectives. As part of the Direction 2030: Your Voice Your Choice project, a joint task force of about 30 members has reviewed and discussed broad goal concepts based on their varied expertise and more importantly public input. These broad goal concepts are currently being transformed into countywide goals and objectives.

Public engagement has been the focus of the Direction 2030 effort and will continue to be through the G&Os phase. A public work session will be held on Wednesday, November 7, from 6-8 p.m. at the Blessed Sacrament Church, 2407 Dixie Highway in Fort Mitchell. A draft of the G&Os will be presented to the attendees for their comments. Additional focused small group meetings with interested organizations is also being planned prior to and as part of the work session. Input received at this work session will be used to revise the G&Os and will be presented the following week at a capstone meeting on Monday, November 12 from 6-8 p.m. at the Community Christian School located at 11875 Taylor Mill Road in Independence.

 “This is a critical step in the planning process. This is the phase when we strive to achieve a common set of goals and objectives that Kenton County residents and elected officials can embrace as one vision for the county,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, NKAPC’s executive director.

Following the public review of the G&Os they will be submitted to the Kenton County Planning Commission (KCPC). The KCPC will send the draft G&Os to each of the 19 Kenton County legislative bodies. State law gives each of the legislative bodies 90 days to review the G&Os and decide on actions. The KCPC will then hold a public hearing prior to considering adoption of the G&Os into the Direction 2030 plan. This process, including the 90-day review period, is expected to take five months beginning in January 2013.

Additional information on these meetings will be available on the project website, direction2030.org.





Two forums in July move Direction 2030 forward

Posted on July 20, 2012
The majority of respondents to a recent public meeting keypad survey chose employment as the element that needs the most improvement locally. Based on that consensus, economic competitiveness will be the focus of the next public meeting scheduled for July 25th from 6-8 p.m. at Simon Kenton High School in Independence.

Fifty-five percent of respondents selected jobs as the most important local issue when compared to shops and amenities, outdoor recreation, housing options, and education. The desire for better employment was also articulated in small group discussions. At almost every meeting citizens have expressed strong concerns about good jobs for youth as an incentive to stay in the area.

A portion of the meeting will include a discussion amongst panelists after which the public will have a chance to ask questions or make comments—a similar format to the June 14th public forum on healthy communities. A summary of that session is posted on the project's website.

In addition, a forum specifically for elected officials from Kenton County’s 20 jurisdictions will be held on July 19th at the Edgewood Senior Center.  That session will discuss specific county-wide and city issues.

Both meetings will further the conversation on policies that can be addressed in the Kenton County Comprehensive Plan: housing; land use; transportation; environment; and, community facilities. Preparation of the plan's goals and objectives is anticipated to begin in September after the conclusion of this second round of public meetings.


Direction 2030 efforts focus on public engagement

Posted on June 30, 2012
Since its start, the Direction 2030 project has continuously emphasized the importance of public input and interaction with the key persons who deal with issues addressed in the Comprehensive Plan.

Opportunities for such dialogues include public meetings held in different areas of the county, small group meetings with groups traditionally not represented in the public meetings, meetings with a Technical Task Force, and a Planning Task Force. The Kenton County Planning Commission which includes one representative appointed by each legislative body has the final authority to adopt the Comprehensive Plan.

While over 200 people attended the first round of four public meetings, the small group sessions allow a more in-depth conversation with different groups in the community. One such meeting was held after an initial public meeting at Piner Elementary School.

“These small group meetings have allowed us to hear the specific issues that residents of southern Kenton County have mentioned. The needs of the residents are somewhat different from the rest of the county and we are working in collaboration with theDirection 2030 effort to bring those issues to the forefront,” said Kenton County Commissioner Beth Sewell.

A small group meeting was also held in Elsmere with the African American community, who represent 4.6 percent of Kenton County’s population according to the 2010 U.S Census.
 
“We appreciate the opportunity to bring our thoughts and ideas to the table as part of theDirection 2030 effort,” said Jerome Bowles, President of the Northern Kentucky branch of the NAACP and Technical Task Force member.

A continued effort will be made to keep all the groups involved in the planning process as the plan moves into the second round of public input meetings. The input received at these meetings will be presented to the Planning Task Force for their consideration, and then the preparation of goals and objectives will begin.

“The Comprehensive Plan is the foundation for planning efforts, including zoning and subdivision regulations, in Kenton County. We strongly encourage residents of Kenton County to get involved in the planning process so you can have a say in the adopted policies,” said Paul Darpel, Chairman of the Kenton County Planning Commission.



Round 2 of Direction 2030 meetings

Posted on May 24, 2012
Direction 2030 is quickly moving into the second phase of public input as planners prepare for two roundtable meetings. The first meeting will be held on June 14th at Ludlow High School and the second will be held in mid-July, details of which will be announced soon. Based on guidance from the Direction 2030 Planning Task Force, the focus of these two roundtables will be to seek expert feedback on issues expressed by residents from the first round of meetings.

As planners work toward recommending policies, input from many diverse communities within Kenton County is critical in appropriately shaping the vision for the entire county. The input gathered from the four public meetings, five targeted meetings with groups not represented at the public meetings, as well as from Direction2030’s Technical Task Force and Planning Task Force is important to articulate the main policy issues.

The Planning Task Force includes members of the Kenton County Planning Commission, Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission and the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Council. The Technical Task Force is comprised of representatives from key public agencies and those with expertise in areas that the comprehensive plan is required to address.

The two roundtable discussions will include a presentation by Dinn Force Marketing, describing market metrics that need to be considered and how those metrics align with input gathered during the first round of meetings.

“These upcoming meetings are important for elected officials, planning commission members and the general public to attend. These meetings are a good opportunity for us as a community to educate ourselves on opportunities and constraints in implementing policy issues raised by people in Kenton County. Most importantly, these meetings will provide the critical information to begin preparing countywide goals and objectives and provide direction for policy,” said Kenton County Planning Commission chair Paul Darpel.

Following the second round of sessions, a capstone meeting will be held to gather feedback from the community on the draft Goals and Objectives element for the comprehensive plan. Public input is important to ensure that the county is prepared to overcome current obstacles, particularly as it relates to market conditions, and is positioned to successfully provide a healthy community for current and future residents.

Comprehensive plan effort moves forward

Posted on April 27, 2012
The second round of public meetings for Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice, the new comprehensive plan for Kenton County, has been scheduled. Mark your calendars for June 14 from 6-8PM at Ludlow High School.

The first meeting will provide attendees with an overview of market forces. Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Amanda Van Benschoten will moderate a panel discussion, and the program will conclude with a work session where the public can discuss issues in greater detail. The second meeting will center on policy level issues that will be used to prepare countywide goals and objectives.

“Over 200 citizens attended and participated in the first round of meetings held between last October and December.  They provided their thoughts on Kenton County today and what they would like to see in the future,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, senior planner for long-range planning.

Employment was an area of interest to a majority of the respondents that attended the meeting. Concerns regarding good jobs for youth were expressed. The desire for a more comprehensive transit system and alternate modes of transportation were also discussed. The topic of accessibility was brought up in multiple meetings as it relates to the aging population in Kenton County and the need for this demographic to be close to amenities.

In two of the four meetings attendees thought the urban core needs to be strong in order to attract the younger generation. Several comments were made about the lack of amenities (night life, mass transit, and housing choices) to retain younger residents within the area.

“A big focus of Direction 2030 is to align policy with market reality. We have to be evermore mindful of the market during these tough economic times, especially when providing policy guidance for the future. We are excited about the information we received from the public and now we need to focus on how we can make that happen by having a good understanding of the market forces,” said Reddy.

To assist with providing that marketing expertise, the services of Michael Dinn with Dinn Focused Marketing have been sought. He and other local experts will provide their perspectives to the issues during the meeting on June 14.

A third round of meetings will focus on acquiring more input from the public on the plan’s goals and objectives. The feedback will be reviewed by all Kenton County legislative bodies and NKAPC, and their recommendations will be considered for adoption by the Kenton County Planning Commission.

NKAPC and Scott High School: Partners in Planning

Posted on April 27, 2012
NKAPC is involving area high school students in the development of Direction 2030: Your Voice. Your Choice. This is an innovative, forward-looking approach in the field of area planning, and NKAPC believes it is critical to the success of the plan. Dr. Brennan Sapp, Principal of Scott High School agrees. “These students will soon be fully functioning members of our community. They are going to be our leaders of tomorrow, so why not involve them now?”

As an important group of stakeholders in the community, the students participating in this project are creatively contributing to the development of the plan, partaking in interviews, group forums and collaborative learning in the classroom with their teachers and planning professionals. The aim of the forum is to find out more about how the students are living their lives today, learn more about their plans for the near future, and to be sure their input is included in the plan.

The program started last month with students from Scott High School. Their teacher, Jeff Jackson, is the faculty leader for Hanner’s Heroes, a student leadership and community engagement group for those students who want to make a difference in their community.

“This experience allows our students to interact as adults while still receiving high quality guidance from a master teacher like Mr. Jackson,” Sapp explained. “They will be much more knowledgeable and confident in similar situations in the future because of this program.”

During the first meeting at the high school, planning officials gave an educational program on planning and zoning issues, how the plan works in the real world, transportation logistics and a review of changes in our community from 1989 through today. Students were then asked to give their feedback using a web-based real-time polling tool.

James Fausz, AICP, and Ed Dietrich, AICP, planning professionals with NKAPC, facilitated the session and worked with students. “It was a great meeting,” explained Fausz. “The students are very open. They told us they want more intimate, walkable communities to live in that have a more fast-paced urban style of living. They really want to see smaller, locally-owned retail stores to shop at, unique, attractive architecture, convenient public transportation, and lots of things to do nearby.” When asked about the things they don’t like about their present-day community structure, they mostly agreed on one thing: there is nothing to do but live there. If someone wants to go out to eat, go to a park, or join friends for a cup of coffee, they have to get in their car and drive miles to do it.

The students learned a lot during the 90-minute sessions. “No one in the room knew what planning was when we first got started,” commented Dietrich. “But by the end of the session we were having a very engaging conversation about urban sprawl, quality of life, community engagement, and the things that need to be done to attract and keep young people here in our community.”

Sapp is very enthusiastic about these kinds of opportunities for his students. “This experience is an actual real-life experience that is not hypothetical or artificial. Students respond differently to real situations. They take things more seriously as they function as young adults, not as students.”

Jackson said, “Once the students realized that their thoughts and ideas were being taken serious, they began to flourish in this experience. Students are hardly ever given an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns in a venue that has an avenue for their thoughts and concerns to make an impact on future decisions made by lawmakers, that is why this opportunity is so special.”

Dennis Gordon, FAICP, NKAPC’s executive director, says public forums are critical because they provide great opportunities for citizens to give their input to the plan. “Kenton County is going to change over the next 20 years; it’s one of those few guarantees of life,” he said. “What we as citizens need to do is help shape the change so it benefits the community’s overall quality of life. That’s what Direction 2030 is all about… reaching out and engaging citizens on how to shape the inevitable change that’s coming.”

Sapp said, “It takes many different groups working together to make good decisions for the future of our area. NKAPC is an essential member of Northern Kentucky. We need more experiences like the one they have provided for our students and our citizens. For too long, education has not been about real life. Direction 2030 is about real life.”

Market place analyst to assist with comprehensive plan

Posted on January 25, 2012

Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice, the Kenton County Planning Commission’s effort to create a new countywide comprehensive plan is gaining momentum following completion of four first-round public meetings. Analysis of the public input and comparisons with national trends are now underway by staff with the assistance of a market place analyst.

“We’re committed to recommending policy in this plan that’s rooted in market reality,” said Keith Logsdon, AICP, NKAPC’s deputy director for long-range planning. “In order to do that and take the public’s desires into consideration, we’ve contracted with Michael Dinn, CRE, of Dinn Focused Marketing Inc. in Wilder.”

Dinn has over two decades of experience in residential and community development and has worked extensively with developers in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. He has also been a part of development projects all over the country, according to Logsdon.

Dinn has established himself as an expert in housing and community development with an emphasis on market performance, product positioning, and alignment. He was recognized in 2003 with an invitation and certification into the prestigious Counselors of Real Estate®. CRE is the widely-recognized organization of the finest real property advisors with only 1,100 members worldwide.

According to NKAPC’s executive director Dennis Gordon, FAICP, the Great Recession has made it more important than ever to analyze market conditions while crafting long-range comprehensive plans. Housing statistics such as foreclosures and vacancies, data on commercial real estate, and generational preferences are key factors in attracting growth and development. Gordon says that Dinn will assist in evaluating and understanding the dynamics of the local market and ensuring that the new comprehensive plan makes Kenton County economically competitive, affordable, and attractive.

National trends on generational preferences indicate that different generations desire different job types and housing. Those trends show that baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), for example, are trending toward smaller lots, smaller homes, and less maintenance. This generation represents approximately 25 percent of Kenton County’s current population. This begs the obvious question of whether Kenton County’s housing market can provide the product that this generation desires.

Dinn’s market place assessment will provide planners an opportunity to understand the current housing market—including the products available—and to include in the comprehensive plan an indication of what products and amenities may be needed to retain and attract different generations to Kenton County.

“The last full housing cycle took 20 years, with the last ten seeing a wave of housing change, said Dinn. “The next 20 years will see a different, shifting marketplace. It’s critical now to measure our local market depth and chart its changing direction.”

“We’ll employ the best local datasets and collaborative professionals to trend our marketplace, striving to face forward and bring genuine forecasting to the Direction 2030 plan,” he said. “We believe our changing marketplace will demand a greater choice in neighborhoods and a better connection to their lifestyle and experiences. Without choice, many motivated householders will choose with their feet by relocating out of Northern Kentucky.”

Second-round public meetings for Direction 2030 will begin in March. Stay up to date on the progress of the comprehensive planning effort on NKAPC’s website, the Direction 2030 website, or Facebook.


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