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Independence disbands adjustment and code enforcement boards

Following the decision by its City Council to join the PDS One Stop Shop program, the City of Independence has dissolve its Board of Adjustment and Code Enforcement Board in favor of joining the respective Kenton County boards.
Many of the cities in Kenton County find it difficult to maintain their own boards for several reasons. Keeping the appointed members on these boards can be problematic because of the thankless nature of the job, the time commitment, plus the requirement of ongoing planning education.

Many of the smaller communities in Kenton County have an ongoing problem finding volunteers, not to mention keeping those appointees compliant with the state-mandated education requirements. There is also a cost incurred by each city to support those boards in the way of staff costs, attorney fees, notification fees, and stipends to the board members.

Fortunately, cities have an alternative in the way of joining the boards that are maintained by Kenton County and PDS. These boards carry no costs to the cities themselves beyond the regular One Stop Shop program costs. For the board of adjustment, if a city chooses to dissolve its board, their community automatically becomes a participant in the Kenton County Board of Adjustment, for which, application fees and the Fiscal Court carry the cost.

The Kenton County Joint Code Enforcement Board is enabled by an interlocal agreement between the participating local governments and supported by PDS and the fines collected by the board. Each participating government appoints one member to the board. The participating cities have not only eliminated the difficulty of managing the board and its members, but also see a real cost savings as well, which can be passed along to residents.

The added advantage to these boards is that, considering the small nature of many of the Kenton County cities, the county-wide boards offer a more diverse makeup and the reduced likelihood of a member actually knowing an applicant appearing before them, a relatively common occurrence in many of Kenton County’s cities.

“While our local BoA and CEB have done an outstanding job over the years, it became more cost effective to utilize the county boards when we opted to go with the One Stop Shop,” said Independence Mayor-Elect Chris Reinersman. “In addition, Independence is hopeful that, by virtue of the greater number of cases heard and frequency of meetings, board members will benefit from a broader knowledge base and level of objectivity.”

Independence has taken the necessary steps to utilize the Kenton County Board of Adjustment immediately and to participate in the Kenton County Joint Code Enforcement Board beginning in January.