Planning & Zoning

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Project-tracking program now accepts credit card payments

Posted on April 28, 2014
Customers interacting with NKAPC staff now have the option of paying all fees with credit cards. This expanded use of plastic payment comes as an added benefit of the agency’s project-tracking program named TRAKiT.

NKAPC implemented the new software last July which better tracks and coordinates the activities of the agency; this includes: building and zoning permits; building, zoning, and infrastructure inspections; zoning and property maintenance code enforcement actions; subdivision platting and related infrastructure construction plans; and, planning and other large-scale projects.

These activities were tracked previously with a variety of software products, some of which carried growing annual costs, were incompatible, and required additional equipment to be maintained off-site.

TRAKiT allows for all these activities to be integrated on a GIS base, allowing NKAPC staff and outside agencies to communicate better with one another on related activities. It also facilitates all agencies involved with Kenton County development to be more knowledgeable and productive in their responsibilities. And most importantly, the system allows staff to get needed information quicker, reducing times for plan review and increasing customer service satisfaction.

“TRAKiT is working great,” said Scott Hiles, CPC, NKAPC’s director of infrastructure engineering. “It’s giving us the ability to track development information more efficiently than we’ve ever been able to before.”

While NKAPC has been the long-time managing partner of a robust geographic information system (LINK-GIS), there has always been a disconnect between that system and those that track permits, projects, and code enforcement.

TRAKiT sets atop LINK-GIS data, allowing information from different activities to be coordinated by address. This makes the GIS data all the more valuable to Kenton County communities and makes development and code enforcement data more accessible, both to staff and to the public.

TRAKiT also allows all the agency’s field inspectors to use iPads in the field to keep track of inspection activities and report results in real time. This permits inspectors to streamline their efforts, reduce time needed to input data, and ultimately to save the agency and the taxpayers money.

The software package includes a public web portal which allows contractors and citizens to access information regarding development and code enforcement activities. While the original One Stop Shop website previously included access to information, this new portal expands the agency’s online capabilities, making it possible to apply for certain permits, pay for them using a credit card, schedule inspections, report a problem, and review inspector’s field reports all directly from that website.

“TRAKiT is facilitating the coordination of all our responsibilities,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, executive director. “This added expansion of our ability to accept credit card payments is an added bonus for our customers.”

“With trends towards digitizing plans and documents, as well as streamlining processes, this new technology may eventually lead to a completely paperless mode of business,” Gordon concluded.

South Kenton County residents speak up… “Keep it rural”

Posted on April 28, 2014
Citizen opinion surveys are often met with indifference in this age of electronics and instant polling. And yet, a recent questionnaire sent through the mail to more than 3000 South Kenton County residents sparked a good deal of interest and an unprecedented response. Over 1000 were completed and returned.

“I have worked with surveys on many topics around the state of Kentucky for 35 years and have never seen this level of agreement in responses to a survey,” said Dr. Lori Garkovich, Professor and State Extension Specialist in the Department of Community and Leadership Development at the University of Kentucky. “In analyzing the results it is apparent that the general message from the community to public officials is pretty straightforward - keep the area rural.”

Over 94 percent of the responses came from residents who live in southern Kenton County and more than 80 percent of those have lived in the community for over ten years. Garkovich calls this response “unprecedented.”

Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with a series of statements that presented conditions and issues in South Kenton County. Among the most telling responses were these.

"It is important to keep agriculture a viable part of the South Kenton economy."
Strongly Agree: 68.7%        Agree: 23.5%        TOTAL AGREE: 92.2%

"It is important to maintain the rural character of South Kenton County."
Strongly Agree: 70.7%        Agree: 19.3%        TOTAL AGREE: 90.3%

"I am satisfied with my access to commercial and retail stores where I live."
Strongly Agree: 49.3%        Agree: 37.5%        TOTAL AGREE: 86.8%

"Subdivisions and other residential development should be directed away from land which is being used for preservation or conservation purposes."
Strongly Agree: 52.2%        Agree: 31.7%        TOTAL AGREE: 83.9%

"Subdivisions and other residential should be directed away from land which is being used for agriculture."
Strongly Agree: 49.6%        Agree: 30.4%        TOTAL AGREE: 80.0%

"If residential and retail development occurs around these existing communities, it should maintain the small community character of these places."
Strongly Agree: 41.8%        Agree: 38.0%        TOTAL AGREE: 79.8%

On the other hand, when presented with a set of statements that describe development patterns the respondents see as unacceptable, they clearly express their disagreement.

"Subdivisions should be allowed in undeveloped areas."
Strongly Disagree: 36.2%    Disagree: 26.3%    TOTAL DISAGREE: 62.5%

"South Kenton County needs to have more employment centers (e.g., clusters of large employers)."
Strongly Disagree: 28.5%    Disagree: 32.1%    TOTAL DISAGREE: 60.6%

"If the opportunity arose to sell my farm for development, I would take it."
Strongly Disagree: 42.9%    Disagree: 16.0%    TOTAL DISAGREE: 58.9%

Detailed survey results of all questions are available for viewing at on the NKAPC website or in the community section of the Kenton County's Fiscal Court website.

“This survey provides us with a clear message from the community. Citizen responses will have implications on the recommendations we’re crafting for the Direction 2030 comprehensive planning effort,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, Planning Manager at NKAPC.

Additional focus group meetings are being planned to extend the conversation beyond the scope of the survey.


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