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

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.