Wednesday, March 24, 1999
Residents share ideas on city's needs
BY RAY SCHAEFER
CRESTVIEW HILLS One Crestview Hills resident wanted to see an upscale restaurant in the city. Another thought there should be space for a library, a developer mentioned a new motel and office building, and city officials talked about parks.
Food, books, lodging and play areas were among the topics discussed at a public forum Tuesday at Thomas More College's Seiler Com mons. The forum was prompted by a dispute over a proposed drive-through restaurant in front of Crestview Hills Mall, but many of the nearly 75 residents also talked about the history of the city's development and its future growth.
I think what we need to do is define what we want for the community, said J. Zang, a Crestview Hills resident who owns several restaurants in Northern Kentucky.
Mayor Paul Meier said there are four areas the city of 2,800 can develop: four parcels of land in front of the mall, 40-50 acres at Thomas More Centre Research Park, a 5-acre tract across from the city building and Applebee's restaurant and 20 acres of Centre Farm off Shinkle Drive.
The mall and the parcels in front concerned the audience most.
City Administrator Kevin
Celarek said that when the city's economic development committee met in January, a mall representative discussed building a Steak 'n Shake restaurant just south of the mall's main entrance off Dixie Highway but presented nothing in writing.
The restaurant's developer has maintained Crestview Hills zoning allows drive-through establishments, while city staff has said it does not.
The city has asked the Kenton County and Municipal Planning and Zoning Commission to approve two zoning-text amendments when it meets next week. The amendments would add restaurants with drive-through lanes (the current language only includes drive-in establishments) and drive-through liquor stores to the list of prohibited uses in a shopping-center zone.
A public hearing on the amendments will be 6:15 p.m. April 1 at commission offices, 2332 Royal Drive in Fort Mitchell.
Mickey Moser, whose husband, Tom, presented a petition of several hundred signatures opposing the Steak 'n Shake, wanted the upscale restaurant.
Why don't they develop (the) mall? she said. It's a beautiful mall.
Glenn Anderson, who oversees mall operations, said attempts are being made to lure a second anchor tenant to join Dillard's department store, but none has been successful. But Mr. Meier said other tenants are reluctant to come to the mall because there is no second anchor store.
Another resident, Henry Harris, said shoppers don't even know what's there. That mall should be an embarrassment to the community, he said.
Resident Bob Nichols asked about the possibility of a Kenton County Public Library branch near the mall. But John Toelke, vice president of the library's board of trustees, said the board and mall could not agree on a site.
Michael Hargis, vice president of design at Paul Hemmer Construction Co. of Fort Mitchell, said construction would start in June on Chapel II, a second office building along Thomas More parkway across from Four Season Sports Country Club. He also said work on a Marriott hotel would begin in July or August.
Mr. Celarek said a committee would be formed in June to study land acquisition and the types of parks, open space and programs the city needs. Mr. Meier said building a large park could be hard because of the cost of land, and he said smaller pocket parks in some neighborhoods are worth considering.
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Residents share ideas on city's needs