18-month zoning rewrite winding down

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Feedback sought on draft Neighborhood Development Code
 
COVINGTON, Ky. - The 18-month effort to modernize, simplify, and improve Covington’s zoning regulations to better guide development is coming to a close.
 
A full draft of the City’s proposed new Neighborhood Development Code (NDC) - which will fully replace an unwieldy Zoning Ordinance that’s costly and time-consuming to navigate - will soon be available for the public to examine.
 
To seek feedback, the City will hold an open house on March 18.
 
“We’ve been going through the draft with the proverbial fine-toothed comb, and we want to give residents and businesses the opportunity to do the same,” said Christopher Myers, the City’s preservation & planning specialist. “We still have time to make adjustments.”
 
Much of the draft is on the website set up by consultant Kendig Keast Collaborative, HERE, and the complete draft will be loaded in the coming days. (Click on “DRAFT NDC” in the task bar.)
 
The document is searchable and “clickable,” Myers said, so people can zero in on the part of the NDC that interests them.
 
At the open house on March 18, people will be able to see the full draft and talk to both City staff and representatives from Dover Kohl & Partners, a planning agency that has been part of the effort.
 
The open house will be held 1 p.m.-7 p.m. at the Hellmann Creative Center, 321 W. MLK Jr. Blvd., and it will have a come-and-go format.
 
“However long you want to engage during those hours, you’re welcome to join us,” Myers said.
 
He said staff hoped to take the Neighborhood Development Code to the Board of Commissioners for approval in June.
 
Among other things, the new, form-based code guides proposed development by taking into account the “look” and “feel” of surrounding buildings and by incorporating historic preservation principles to pay tribute to the unique character of each of Covington’s neighborhoods. The City’s current Zoning Ordinance is known as a “Euclidean-based code,” which divides the City into “zones” and rigidly tries to shoehorn buildings and their uses into those zones.
 
“We’ve made huge strides toward creating sensible land development regulations for the city,” Myers said. “Covington is so unique, and we need a specialized approach to reflect that.”
 
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