Thursday, October 19, 2000

County seeks plan input

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — It guides everything from the location of roads to the placement of cellular towers.

        So as area planners prepare to update Kenton County's five-year comprehensive plan, they want to know what issues are important to the public.

        “If you're concerned about where you live and interested in seeing the quality of life in your community improve, you should participate in the process,” said Keith Logsdon, a planner with the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission.

        He added it's becoming increasingly difficult to get the average person interested in the planning process, “unless it involves a big issue like a Wal-Mart.”

        A comprehensive plan is used as a guide for growth and development within a county. The Kenton County and Municipal Planning and Zoning Commission and the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission rely on the plan to decide issues such as development of subdivisions to the location of new facilities, such as schools, parks or roads.

        Kentucky law requires that a comprehensive plan be adopted before local communities or area planners adopt enforcement regulations for planning and zoning, said Bill Bowdy, executive director of the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission.

        By November 2001, Kenton County's plan must be updated for the next five years.

        That's where the public's help is needed.

        Kentucky law requires that the public and local groups be involved in the development of a comprehensive plan. Aside from that, it just makes sense to get public feedback on a plan that will serve as a blueprint for local growth and development, Mr. Logsdon said.

        The last time Kenton updated its comprehensive plan, recreation and open space became a priority, largely because of public input.

        Among the projects that have come to fruition since then are Kenton County's Mills Road Park in Covington. The Kenton Fiscal Court also recently commissioned an independent parks and recreation study to help the county address future recreational programming and facilities needs.

        “If some area rises to importance, we're going to put emphasis on it,” Mr. Logsdon said.

        As they develop the 2001 comprehensive plan, area planners will attend city meetings during the next year.

        They also have set town meetings for Oct. 30 at Summit View Middle School, 5002 Madison Pike; and Nov. 15 at John G. Carlisle Elementary School, 910 Holman Ave., Covington. Both will be from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m., and will solicit suggestions through small group discussions of various topics.

        “We're trying to get your average citizen, not an elected official or a developer,” said Tim Theissen, chairman of the Kenton County and Municipal Planning and Zoning Commission. “It's geared to more of a general question of, "What do you want your community to be like?'”

        Mr. Theissen also is promoting the need for public comment on the plan through cable TV interviews and an infomercial produced by area planners.

       For more information on the comprehensive plan, or to offer suggestions on its development, Kenton County residents and other interested parties can call Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission offices at (859) 331-8980. They also can log onto the area planning commission's Web site at


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