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Kenton County Planning Commission

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Final version of county subdivision regulations is near completion

Posted on April 27, 2012
The Kenton County Planning Commission is entering the home stretch as its members begin deliberation on draft subdivision regulations. This marks the near culmination of a several-year effort led by the NKAPC staff to create an updated set of regulations that are more efficient, provide more options for creative design, and strengthen standards to protect the taxpayer from unnecessary expenses.

Since the draft was published for public review in the fall of 2010, planning commission members have been busy on several fronts. Their first effort was to establish a committee and begin a series of informational meetings with staff to learn about the differences between the existing and proposed regulations. “Staff handles most of the administration of the existing regulations,” said Scott Hiles, Deputy Director for Infrastructure Engineering. “It was important to educate the committee on the reason we have subdivision regulations and what they were required by law to contain.” The committee met throughout the early spring and summer to accomplish this goal.

The committee then decided to invite all of the major stakeholders in the community that would be affected by the proposed regulations to address them during face-to-face meetings. “It was very important to me to see that everyone that would be affected by the regulations would be heard by this committee,” said Paul Darpel, Chairman of the Kenton County Planning Commission. “We may not always agree to include all the ideas that we hear, but I wanted these groups to know that they were heard, their ideas were carefully considered and based on their input we were able to make an informed decision.”

Several groups have taken advantage of this opportunity. Because of their shared interest in storm water runoff and water quality issues, the Kenton County Conservation District teamed up with the Banklick Watershed Council and the Sanitation District to present their ideas to the committee in January. They were followed by the Home Builders Association in early February and the Kenton County Mayors’ Group later that same month. One group remains to meet with the committee, the Northern Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers which is scheduled to present to the committee on April 24.

In the interim, the committee has instructed staff to begin the process of revising the document to include those issues where consensus has been reached between all groups. In May, the committee will begin the final deliberation to decide what changes need to be made to the draft.

The one issue that has received the most debate thus far is whether or not the new standards for subdivision streets should be strengthened, and if so, to what degree. “It seems most everyone agrees that streets are failing before their expected design life,” said Hiles. “But little consensus between the groups has been reached as to the cause of this premature failure, or what should be done about it.”

That will ultimately be a decision the planning commission must make. After staff revises the draft for the final time it will be published again for public review. KCPC members will then take action on the issue at a public hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

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.

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

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