Zoning panel looking for a critical thinker

COVINGTON, Ky. - The pay is terrible, the meetings can be long and the process (according to some people) can be tedious.
But if you're interested in architecture and history, enjoy the aura of the legal system and want not only a front seat to the explosive wave of development coursing through Covington's urban core but also a hand in guiding it, then the City of Covington is looking for you.
The City is seeking applications to fill a position on its Board of Adjustment left vacant by a resignation.
The work is important, because the five-member Board of Adjustment is the citizens panel that ensures flexibility in the City zoning code, said Alex Koenig, Covington's Zoning Development Specialist.
Specifically, the board makes decisions on requests for zoning variances, conditional-use permits, changes to non-conforming use structures and appeals of the Zoning Administrator's decisions.
"It's kind of like being a jury in some ways," Koenig said. "There's a case before you, you look at the evidence and hear testimony, you have to weigh the 'pros' and 'cons' and you have the opportunity to make a decision," he said.
For some people, the legal-like process and the material can be fascinating, Koenig said.
It's also important work, because zoning is the tool used to make sure that development is orderly; that it doesn't disrupt neighborhoods and neighbors; and that the health, welfare and safety of the public is maintained, he said.    
The board meets at 5:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at City Hall, and its members receive a packet of the City's staff reports on the applications a week before the meeting.
"You don't have to be a lawyer or an architect, but you have to be willing to do your 'homework,' " he said.
"Basically we're looking for someone who is concerned about development in the City and has both an attentive mind and critical-thinking skills," said Mayor Joe Meyer, who will recommend an applicant to the entire City Commission for approval.
There isn't a firm deadline for applying, but the City wants to fill the position quickly, he said.
The next meeting is June 20. Members -- who must live in Covington -- receive very nominal pay for each meeting they attend. Terms are for four years.
For more information about the position or to apply, CLICK HERE. If you have questions, call Alex Koenig at (859) 292-2135.
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