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The goal of a Neighborhood Development Code is to take into account and seek to preserve the “look” and “feel” of the surrounding area when making decisions on zoning and development.

Public invited to weigh in on draft of new zoning approach

 COVINGTON, Ky. - The Covington public is being invited to take a look at the draft first section of an 18-month effort to create a document that will shape how the City’s neighborhoods and commercial districts look and exist for decades to come.
 
Next Tuesday, an “open door meeting” is being sponsored by City staff and Kendig Keast Collaborative, the consultant created to help transform Covington’s rigid and unwieldy Zoning Ordinance into a flexible Neighborhood Development Code that seeks to integrate development into its surroundings to preserve the way that area “looks” and “feels.”
 
“We’re finished with the first section draft - the part that defines character districts, uses, and development standards - and we want to hear what residents, neighborhood leaders, businesses and developers think,” said Christopher Myers, the City’s Preservation & Planning Specialist.
 
The meeting - from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Hellmann Creative Center at 321 M.L. King Jr. Blvd./West 12th St. - is a “come-and-go event” where the consultant team will present progress to date and ask for feedback.
 
The second section, or module, should be finished in a few weeks. It focuses on site design such as lighting, parking and landscaping. The third module will address development review bodies and procedures, as well as enforcement. It will be finished in January.
 
You can see the draft of the first module by looking on the NDC project website, HERE, and clicking on “VIEW DRAFT NDC.”
 
You can also give general feedback on particular areas of Covington where you think zoning works or doesn’t work by putting “pins” and comments on a map, HERE.
 
Module 1 contains a wealth of detailed information about proposed character districts in Covington intended to define the “character” of everything from “rural residential” to “traditional urban mixed-use” to “auto-urban commercial” to “resource protection” areas.
 
Dalton Belcher, the City’s new zoning administrator, said he’s seen day-by-day the need for a new approach to zoning and development approval in Covington, one that’s more flexible and encourages the kind of development the City wants instead of enforcing rigid requirements that no longer reflect the character of an area.
 
“I hear this phrase all the time: ‘My neighbor did this, why can’t I?’ ” he said. “They don’t realize all the legal hoops their neighbor had to jump through because of the current Zoning Ordinance.”
 
“This makes so much sense for the unique city that Covington is,” Belcher said.
 
The public will be able to see from the draft of Module 1 that the new code strives to eliminate “all the silly and technical ‘gotchas’ and glitches that cost a lot of time and effort on behalf of both property owners and City staff,” Myers said.
 
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