Planning & Zoning

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UC planning students crafting recommendations for KY 536 land

Posted on May 05, 2015
PDS planners are facilitating work by University of Cincinnati planning students to analyze some of the potential impacts improvement of KY 536 will have on adjacent communities. The roadway project, which has been planned for at least a decade, will provide much needed east/west connectivity in central and southern Kenton County.

“This project was meant to provide UC students real-world experience in planning issues that exist in our community. It was also designed to provide our community leaders with an insight into the possibilities for the corridor,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, planning manager at PDS.

Over the past several weeks, the class has presented its preliminary reports to the Kenton County Planning Commission, the Independence City Council, the PDS Management Board, and Kenton County Fiscal Court. These presentations were meant to update the boards on the progress of the project, to discuss a few of the preliminary recommendations, and to obtain feedback and thoughts about the project which will be merged into the final reports.

Based upon the students’ efforts and analysis, the class is formulating ideas now for the values, goals, vision, and mission for their final reports. Some preliminary ideas presented thus far include:

    •    creating a harmonious transition between the historic downtown Independence, suburban, and rural landscapes around KY 536, balancing the unique needs of each type of development;
    •    improving multimodal access to existing developments and amenities locally and regionally; and
    •    celebrating the unique character of Southern Kenton County through policies, programs, and activities that recognize and enhance the rural heritage.

As the class nears completion, students will be refining their recommendations and presenting their final reports to staff and faculty. Their final reports will be available on the project’s website.

“We’ve heard many positive comments that the students did a great job capturing the community’s sentiments,” said Reddy. “We hope this experience will help them when they start their professional careers.”

Direction 2030 implementation efforts continue to build momentum

Posted on May 05, 2015
Steps taken by PDS staff during the crafting of Direction 2030 paved the way for implementation efforts now underway across Kenton County. Breaking the citizen input received through the Kenton County Planning Commission’s aggressive public outreach into subareas of the county is paying off now as planners work with local groups to take steps towards accomplishing the comprehensive plan’s goals.

Current efforts are focused primarily on the urban and rural subareas. There are two major advantages to this approach. First, it promotes coordination and collaboration amongst multiple jurisdictions which share a common vision and are working towards implementing similar projects. Secondly, it allows for continued public dialogue around issues that have been identified in the plan as a priority and engages the community in finding solutions. The urban and rural subarea implementation efforts are doing just that.

“Our citizen partners are very enthusiastic about these projects since the focus is finally on implementation,” said Michael Ionna, AICP, a PDS principal planner. Ionna is facilitating implementation efforts being pursued in the urban subarea. “We anticipate that in six months we will have made significant progress on the recommendations.”

Following preliminary meetings with key stakeholders and examination of available resources, the urban subarea project team has identified three projects which implement recommendations of Direction 2030. The current list includes: an inventory and analysis of existing and potential park and recreation facilities; an evaluation and streamlining of zoning regulations and permitting processes; and, development of a tool for documenting current, completed, and potential development projects and initiatives within the urban core of Kenton County.

Work has begun on the parks and recreation project. Over the course of the next few months the project partners will work to inventory recreation facilities and locations to identify the types of amenities being provided as well as the area and population each facility serves.

This information will be put into a digital format to be published online as a public resource as well as a tool to provide input to guide new investments into the system. This project is a collaborative effort between PDS planning and GIS staffs and Kenton County’s river cities.

Work on rural subarea implementation continues with the work of the South Kenton County Citizens Group. Each committee (roads, agricultural heritage, services, and zoning) has met at least twice over the past two months. Ed Dietrich, PDS principal planner, is facilitating this subarea’s implementation efforts.

The services committee has met with the Northern Kentucky Water District to discuss water extension to the remaining residents of southern Kenton County. The committee has also met with the Telecommunications Board and learned about increasing the coverage of its broadcast. The roads committee met with Kenton County’s chief of police and public works director to talk about improving the safety of roadways.

The agricultural heritage committee has discussed various options to promote agriculture. The committee will discuss strategies to attract young people to farming at their upcoming meeting in May. The zoning committee is working with PDS on various zoning options to keep south Kenton County rural.

The citizens group is planning a public meeting on June 15th to receive the general public’s thoughts about the work that has been accomplished so far.

For more information about projects being pursued in these two subareas, contact Ionna at mionna@pdskc.org and Dietrich at edietrich@pdskc.org.
 
 

PDS, partners receive grant for health provisions of comprehensive plan

Posted on May 05, 2015
A newly-formed partnership that includes PDS received notice last month of a $135,000 grant award from the American Planning Association (APA) through its Plan4Health program to combat two elements of chronic disease – lack of physical activity and lack of access to nutritious foods.  The grant will fund activities outlined in Kenton County’s recently-adopted new comprehensive plan.

PDS and its partners will work over the next 12 months to lay the groundwork for a county-wide Food Policy Council to ensure that healthy and accessible food efforts continue into the future. Partnering organizations include the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington, Inc.; the Northern Kentucky Health Department; OKI Regional Council of Governments; and, Planning and Development Services of Kenton County.

“I’m really pleased that our proposal was selected for funding; I understand the competition was fierce,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, PDS executive director.

“The basis for the project proposal came from the aggressive public engagement we pursued for Direction 2030.org, Kenton County’s new comprehensive plan. Residents told us for the first time that health should be an important factor in future land use planning. These funds will help our partnership take positive steps toward implementing that goal,” he said.

The Kenton County Plan4Health coalition (KCP4H) will work to provide access to nutritious food across the county. Efforts will include a county-wide assessment of underserved neighborhoods in addition to a series of actions addressing affordability of and access to healthy food.

The grant will facilitate an opportunity for the KCP4H coalition to map the area’s full-line grocery stores, locate neighborhoods with limited access to healthy foods, and increase the supply of fresh produce for residents in need. The foundation for long-term efforts will also result from this grant project.

APA’s Plan4Health program is implemented in partnership with the American Public Health Association and represents a major new collaboration between planners and public health professionals. This is the first time that APA, via funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has offered grants to promote healthy living.

For more information on the Kenton County Plan4Health Coalition or grant projects, contact Jenna LeCount, AICP, PDS principal planner, at jlecount@pdskc.org or 859.331.8980.

 

 


UC planning students want to engage the public on KY 536 land use issues

Posted on March 24, 2015
An important part of any public sector planning effort is the engagement of residents and incorporation of their feedback into the final recommendations. The KY 536 land use study project being undertaken by planning students from the University of Cincinnati (UC) is no different. A new and innovative approach for public engagement will be used to gather input for this critical effort.

New technology makes it possible for citizens to have their voices heard in pioneering ways. PDS, in conjunction with UC’s College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning will embark on an online public engagement effort for the KY 536 student project. While online public engagement has been used by PDS in the past, it has never been used as the only platform for public feedback.

This new engagement effort will allow residents to provide feedback when convenient to do so. This effort will commence later in March. Additional information will be disseminated via this newsletter, the PDS website, and social media platforms prior to the beginning of the project.

View the reference map


Planning manager named Outstanding Woman of Northern Kentucky

Posted on March 02, 2015
Seven Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky for 2015 will be honored at a ceremony in April. One of them is PDS’ own Sharmili Reddy, AICP, Planning Manager.

The annual awards celebrate women who exemplify notable achievements, outstanding service in their professions or to the Northern Kentucky community, and the qualities of personal integrity, perseverance and leadership.

Toyota, the presenting sponsor of the awards, released the honorees' names Monday.

Reddy was named in the Emerging Leaders category along with Claire E. Parsons, associate, Civil Rights litigation, Adams, Stepner, Woltermann & Dusing, PLLC.

Others named for 2015 awards include: Karen Cheser, deputy superintendent of Boone County Schools; Candace S. McGraw, CEO of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport; Kristi Nelson, general counsel and SVP of Shared Business Services; Donna Salyers, owner of Donna Salyers' Fabulous Furs; and, Dr. Lynne M. Saddler, M.D., MPH, district director of health, Northern Kentucky Health Department.

All winners will be recognized at a luncheon and awards ceremony beginning at noon April 16 at The METS Center, 3861 Olympic Blvd.

Staffer elected chair of OKI intermodal coordinating committee

Posted on March 02, 2015
In January, members of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments’ (OKI) Intermodal Coordinating Committee (ICC) elected James Fausz, AICP, to be their chairperson. Fausz, who is a principal planner at PDS, previously served as the group’s first vice chair.
 
“I’ve been interested in transportation of all kinds since I was very young, so it’s exciting for me to serve as the chair for a group that works on multimodal mobility,” Fausz explained. “It’s also rewarding to work on bettering our community from the regional perspective.”

Fausz has worked on transportation-related projects throughout his career, which encompasses roles in both the private and public sector.

The ICC advises the OKI Board of Directors on technical issues related to regional transportation planning. With approximately 70 members, the roster encompasses a wide range of professionals in the region.  Members include experts from local, state, and federal transportation agencies; governments from the eight-county OKI region; planning organizations; and, a wide array of business, civil, environmental, and utilities from the public and private sectors.

Staffers pass exam for ‘Certified Green Professional’ credential

Posted on January 26, 2015
Today’s explosion of technology almost demands that professionals seize every opportunity presented to stay abreast. That is what prompted Martin Scribner, AICP, PDS’ director of planning and zoning, and Andy Videkovich, AICP, senior planner, to attend a multi-day seminar in Indianapolis that focused on “green building” cosponsored by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB).

Scribner and Videkovich were tested on what they learned at the conclusion of the sessions and both passed the exam. This makes them eligible for certification as a Certified Green Professional (CGP), an NAHB program aimed at fostering the construction of green buildings.

The NAHB uses the CGP designation as a way to identify builders, remodelers, manufacturers, and other professionals who are committed to green building philosophies and techniques. The course focused on an understanding that combining good, cost-effective building science with the right products and materials can help create buildings that are healthier and more efficient, while being kind to the environment. This also results in lower long-term utility costs to home owners.

By incorporating the National Green Building Standard into the curriculum, CGPs are trained to incorporate energy, water and resource efficiency, improved indoor environmental quality, and sustainable and locally sourced products into their projects. Preservation of natural contours and water quality of a site is also considered.

Because operating and maintaining a home correctly is the key to the long-term success of a green project, a large focus of the program is home owner education—from designing the space to meet specific needs and choosing the right products to making sure new owners are advised on how to ensure everything works the way it is designed.

CGPs must successfully complete 18 hours of classroom instruction and have at least two years of building industry experience before they earn their designation. They are also required to adhere to the CGP Code of Ethics and complete 12 hours of building industry and green-related continuing education every three years.
 
According to Scribner, “Andy and I took the opportunity to earn this credential in order to better assist with Direction2030 implementation efforts and to stay in touch with smart and innovative building trends. I feel that over the long run, this kind of information and education will pay out dividends for our community.”

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.

NKAPC senior planner receives KAPA award

Posted on May 27, 2014
NKAPC senior planner Andy Videkovich (right) receives this year's Young Planner Award from Kentucky American Planning Association (KAPA) president Ryan Libke. This distinction goes to a 35-year old or younger candidate in Kentucky who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to leadership, professional development and the advancement of the field of planning.

Congratulations, Andy!

Planning director earns Certified Floodplain Manager status

Posted on May 23, 2014
Martin Scribner, AICP, NKAPC’s director of planning and zoning, recently passed the certification exam for national Certified Floodplain Manager designation. Scribner currently serves as floodplain manager for 13 of Kenton County’s 20 jurisdictions and this certification will aid him in those duties.

The Association of State Floodplain Managers established this national certification program. The program recognizes continuing education and professional development that enhance the knowledge and performance of local, state, federal, and private-sector floodplain managers.

The role of the nation's floodplain managers is expanding due to increases in disaster losses, the emphasis being placed upon mitigation to alleviate the cycle of damage-rebuild-damage, and a recognized need for professionals to adequately address these issues. This certification program lays the foundation for ensuring that highly-qualified individuals are available to meet the challenge of breaking the damage cycle and stopping its negative drain on the nation's human, financial, and natural resources.

The professional certification is recognized as a way to:
•    improve floodplain managers’ knowledge of floodplain management concepts;
•    promote an understanding of relevant subject matter that is consistent nationwide;
•    convey new concepts and practices; and
•    build partnerships among organizations and agencies that share the goal of advancing sound floodplain management.
“I’m proud that Martin took on this challenge and passed the exam,” stated Dennis Gordon, FAICP, NKAPC’s executive director. “Having a certified floodplain manager on staff could well have a positive financial impact for those of our constituents who own property in one of the county’s many floodplains.”

A benefit for a community that employs a Certified Floodplain Manager and is a member of the National Flood Insurance Program may be eligible for certain flood insurance discounts that are passed on to the property owners.

“This provides one more example of the value of our collaborative One Stop Shop Codes Administration Program, and ultimately of NKAPC. It would be nearly impossible—financially speaking—for each one of our 20 local governments to pursue the responsibilities we provide in their names,” Gordon concluded.

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