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Entries for 2011

Independence seeks citizen feedback regarding zoning

Posted on November 17, 2011

The City of Independence is asking its citizens to examine proposed zoning changes for part of the city at a meeting scheduled for November 14 from 7 to 9 PM at the Simon Kenton High School cafeteria.

“The steering committee and the city council want feedback on these proposed new requirements," said Martin Scribner, AICP, deputy director for current planning. "This meeting will be an open house format, so people can come for 15 minutes or stay for the whole two hours,” Committee members and NKAPC staff will be on hand to answer questions.

A committee of Independence business operators and residents developed the requirements as a response to a small area study that was adopted by the city in 2007. Independence resident John Richardson chaired the Zoning Update Steering Committee. Independence City Administrator Dan Groth said the 2007 small area study led to recommended changes to zoning regulations in 2009.

“An important part of this process is to solicit input from residents and property owners prior to changes being made in the city’s zoning code,” Groth and Richards wrote in a letter to property owners within the study area.

The affected area includes both sides of Madison Pike from Independence Station Road south to Locust Lane, and along both sides of McCullum Pike from Madison Pike to KY 17. Maps will be available the evening of the public meeting.

To review the draft regulations, visit the NKAPC website.

NKAPC expenditures for GIS pay off in a big way

Posted on November 17, 2011

NKAPC GIS staff worked hard to assist government entities in Kenton County in obtaining $1.7 million in grants and return on investments (ROI) during fiscal year 2011 (July 2010 through June 2011). This amounts to an almost three-fold return on investment when considering what it costs to fund NKAPC’s GIS department.

“Over the past few months, staff has answered numerous questions from elected officials about the cost and value of GIS,” said Trisha Brush, GISP, deputy director for GIS administration. “We were able to show how GIS data used by agencies throughout the region returned $2.9 million in grants, awards, and cost savings to local communities. Well over half of that amount was awarded to Kenton County jurisdictions.”

These monetary and non-monetary benefits include data quality projects, emergency communications money, a landslide project due to heavy spring rains that resulted in a FEMA grant for Kenton County, savings from a pavement coordination program, and a brownfields grant.

The Kentucky Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) Emergency Telecommunications Board distributes funds collected from mobile phone usage to member agencies, said Ms. Brush, and county emergency dispatch units must submit a survey and GIS data, including centerlines from the LINK-GIS master street address guide, zip codes included in dispatch areas, and cell tower locations when submitting grant applications. Covington obtained $164,750 from CMRS; Kenton County $177,998 in CMRS funds; and Erlanger, $247,672 for those same services. GIS data is a required submittal in order for the local Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to receive CMRS funding. These data submittals are an annual occurrence for all three dispatch centers.

GIS data was leveraged as an in-kind support which aided in the Covington City Center Action Plan proposal. The city was awarded $359,300 in grant monies to examine how the Covington city center will evolve over the next 20 years, Ms. Brush said. Covington’s center is generally described as the area south of the Ohio River to 12th Street, east to the Licking River and west to I-75.

Another $18,000 was attributed to Envista program savings for the city of Covington; Envista’s GIS-based pavement coordination software facilitated the savings for the city and Northern Kentucky Water District, Ms. Brush said.

The availability and existing Kenton County brownfield GIS database assisted the Northern Kentucky Area Development District to obtain a $100,000 for brownfield redevelopment. The funds are to be used in Kenton County focusing on the Licking River Greenway and will lead to more detailed identification of areas once used for industrial purposes that can be reused for a variety of purposes once cleaned up, Ms. Brush said.

So far this fiscal year, GIS maps were and data were required in gaining a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Roads/Clean-Up Grant: $251,042 to Kenton County; $93,633 to Covington; $10,548 to Crescent Springs; and $1,000 to Bromley.

“We have every reason to believe that this fiscal year will produce an equal return on investment to Kenton County,” concluded Brush.

GIS staff earns awards at conference

Posted on November 17, 2011

NKAPC staff earned two awards at the 2011 annual conference of the Kentucky Association of Mapping Professionals (KAMP). One award was for website design and one was for service to the mapping community.

Christy Powell, GISP, senior GIS specialist, won the annual award for best GIS website application.

“Christy exhibited the special search capabilities for individual properties that she programmed into the My Community section of the LINK-GIS website,” said Trisha Brush, GISP, deputy director for GIS administration.

“The search method shows city, political and planning and zoning information,” said Brush. “The website work Christy did will aid all Kenton County residents.

The service award went to NKAPC and LINK-GIS for service to GIS and the mapping community. It honors the organization’s long and distinguished service to Kenton County, to northern Kentucky, and to GIS issues throughout the commonwealth.

Powell, Brush, and others from LINK-GIS participated in the conference held in Frankfort in September.

LINK-GIS is a collaborative electronic mapping partnership managed by NKAPC for Kenton and Campbell County Fiscal Courts, the Kenton and Campbell County PVAs, the Northern Kentucky Water District, and Sanitation District 1.

‘Direction 2030’ public forums begin

Posted on November 17, 2011
‘Direction 2030’ public forums begin

Kenton County’s comprehensive plan is being rewritten completely for the first time since 1972. The project, expected to take up to two years to complete, is designed to provide guidance for the county’s growth over the next 20 years.

"Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your Choice" is a community planning initiative centered on public input – citizen ideas and citizen opinions. It will help create the new Kenton County comprehensive plan reflecting existing and anticipated trends in population, transportation, business, and education.

Kenton County citizens are urged to attend the ongoing series of public forums that will facilitate these discussions. Citizens are also encouraged to stay abreast of ongoing Direction 2030 progress by checking the project website: Direction2030.org.

“Since the county’s first comprehensive plan was completed in 1972, only updates have been made,” said Keith Logsdon, AICP, deputy director for long-range planning. “Over the past twenty years or so, new trends have developed in how people want to live and travel, how they want to spend their leisure time and make economic choices, and those trends make it important to take a new look at our community.”

Members of the Kenton County Planning Commission and NKAPC staff held the first of these public forums on October 26 at Dixie Heights High School. Approximately 60 citizens from across Kenton County attended and discussed how or if they believe these trends are having an impact on their lives.

The second of these initial meetings is set for November 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Kenton County Agricultural Extension Office. The third meeting will take place on November 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Calvary Baptist Church in Latonia; and, the fourth is set for December 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Piner Elementary School. The topic for these forums will be the same as for the first, giving citizens from across Kenton County an opportunity to express themselves.

The second round of four meetings will be held in January through March, 2012. The third round is projected from April through June; and, the fourth and final round in July and August. Each round will look at opinions and ideas expressed during earlier sessions and distill them to the point where public goals and objectives emerge.

“Strong public engagement will make the plan well-founded and prepare our community for the challenges of the next 20 years,” Logsdon said.

For a full description of each of the four rounds of meetings, check out the Direction 2030 website.

As for what the outcome of this process will be, Logsdon says, “I don’t know if that question can be answered yet because we are just beginning the public engagement process. Our current challenge is to encourage and attain sufficient public input.”

Independence Public Meeting

Posted on October 27, 2011
On November 14, from 7-9 PM, the City of Independence is holding an open house to gather public input regarding changes to the Independence Zoning Ordinance.

In 2007, the Independence Community Small Area Study was approved by the city and adopted by the Kenton County Planning Commission as part of the Area-Wide Comprehensive Plan. Updating the zoning ordinance and map will support the city's effort to achieve the study's overall vision.

This meeting will be held in the Simon Kenton High School cafeteria, located at 11132 Madison Pike. Parking and school entrance is located near the gymnasium. Click here to review the draft regulations.

For more information about this event, contact Mr. Andy Videkovich at 859.331.8980 or IndependenceZoning@nkapc.org. View the printable flier.

Kenton Mayors’ Group nears recommendation to planning commission on new subdivision regs

Posted on October 19, 2011
Kenton County’s draft subdivision regulations that staff completed late last year is nearing its first test as the document is scheduled to appear on this month’s agenda of the Kenton County Mayors’ Group. A committee of that group has worked with staff and members of the Homebuilders Association since February.

Action by the Mayors’ Group will take the form of a recommendation to the Kenton County Planning Commission. The planning commission has spent the last several months reviewing the document and the changes it includes from regulations that have been in place since the late 1970s.

The new draft regulations, which are a complete rewrite of the current document, were prepared by staff to accomplish four specific goals.

•    Greater User Friendliness: (1) create regulations in a digital format, one that is easy to use via hotlinks that allow for better continuity and cross-referencing; (2) illustrate the regulations liberally.

•    Greater Design Flexibility for Developers: provide for greater design flexibility so developers can create subdivisions with character, not just cookie cutter images of their most recent design efforts.

“In addition to more design flexibility, we also provided for different green infrastructure techniques,” said Scott Hiles, NKAPC’s deputy director for infrastructure engineering, who oversaw the staff effort. “Our 1978 regulations didn’t anticipate the need for green solutions and didn’t authorize them.”

•    Greater Intergovernmental Coordination: assure that the new regulations mesh and compliment those of other agencies that play a role with new development.

•    Greater Taxpayer Protection: guarantee that all requirements provide for developments that stand the test of time so that city and county taxpayers aren’t required to pay to fix infrastructure problems prematurely.

To meet the taxpayer protection goal, staff’s draft regulations call for an increase in pavement thickness and the addition of under-drains for all new subdivision streets. Prematurely-failing streets was one of the main issues that prompted the Mayors’ Group to get involved in this rewriting process.

Based on discussions to date, staff expects the Mayors’ Group’s recommendation to the Kenton County Planning Commission to take the form of an endorsement with a number of proposals for added taxpayer protection. Hiles says planning commission members “are at a point now to hear the Mayor’s Group’s recommendation.”

It will be the Kenton County Planning Commission’s responsibility to sort through the myriad recommendations from different groups and to adopt a set of replacement regulations to serve the community in the future. That action is expected to take place in early 2012.

Use of GIS-based web tool provides opportunities for governments and utilities to save scarce funds

Posted on October 19, 2011
The online road construction coordination tool provided by the LINK-GIS partnerships is nearing the end of its second season in operation. The extent of its use by Kenton and Campbell County local governments has grown exponentially, as has the opportunities for rate- and tax-payer savings.

Over 30 public and private agencies are using the tool currently, including Kenton and Campbell County Fiscal Courts, a number of cities in each county, the water and sanitation districts, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Duke Energy, and Cincinnati Bell. Each uploads its street construction/maintenance projects to the GIS-based database called Envista.

“There are over 2,300 individual projects in Envista right now,” said Trisha Brush, GISP, deputy director for GIS administration. “It’s taken awhile for everyone to incorporate this step into their workflow, but it’s working very well now and we’re getting a lot of good feedback.”

A recently-formed user’s group of entities benefitting from the program is providing feedback to staff and each other. Members discuss their success stories, hurdles to using the software, and one-on-one training opportunities. “We’re reminding agencies if they don’t have their projects in there, they can’t coordinate and therefore, they won’t see any cost savings,” Brush said.

To date, cities have documented savings of at least $26,000 by coordinating in Envista. The City of Covington recently saved $18,000 by collaborating with the water district on several streets the city planned to repave and the water district planned to replace water mains.

“Envista had an immediate impact on our productivity and efficiency,” said Mike Yeager, PE, MPA, assistant Covington city engineer. “The city and the various utility companies are now able to coordinate and prioritize projects into the future based upon each other’s needs and budgets.”

The City of Covington will share its success story at the October 26 user’s group meeting. Brush, who recently attended an Envista conference to learn the software’s newest features and give feedback on behalf of the area’s users, will also share the software’s feature enhancements.

“This is just one more example of how GIS and NKAPC’s staff collaboration help to save local rate- and tax-payer dollars,” Brush concluded.

New Plan Needs Public Input

Posted on August 10, 2011
New Plan Needs Public Input
The public is invited to participate in “Direction 2030: Your Voice, Your  Choice,” the planning process that will craft a new comprehensive land-use plan for Kenton County.

This countywide 20-year plan begins with Phase 1 of the Concept Plan. This first phase develops the goals and objectives, which reflect the path the entire community wants to take regarding land use, housing, transportation. Because of the great amount of public input as its foundation, citizens will hold an important level of ownership in this plan.

To increase Phase 1 will involve two rounds of 4 meetings each. The first round of discussions is scheduled for October 26th, 5:30P - 7:30P, at Dixie Heights High School in Crestview Hills.

Kenton County Planning Commission

Posted on July 07, 2011
Public hearings are held on the first Thursday of every month, beginning at 6:15 PM in the Commission Chambers of the NKAPC Building located in Fort Mitchell. View the legal notice. Calendar

Current agenda

NKAPC on YouTube

Posted on March 02, 2011
NKAPC on YouTube
An informative video has been developed and uploaded to our YouTube channel. Watch it to learn more about the history, values and services of NKAPC. Click here to view the script.