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Proposed Zone Change in Erlanger Creates Worry for Some in Crestview Hills

Several residents of Summit Drive in Crestview Hills came to the Erlanger City Council meeting Tuesday night to protest a zone change from Industrial Park 1 to Industrial Park 4, which is what three businesses on Kenton Lands Road in Erlanger have asked the city to do.

"When we bought our property it wasn't zoned like that," said Terri Jameson who lives at 119 Summit. "It will make it hard to resell our property."

Randy Ogden said he thought if the city has each others' backs, he was not feeling the love, knowing the city would change the zoning for the businesses in the area behind his property.

He said with the leaves off the trees, the businesses were more visible than ever, and he stated that nobody wants the zone change.

"Duke is taking out trees in back of our property, which has led to an increase in noise," said Bob Gerding, from 111 Summit, who came with his wife, Paula to protest the change.

"Traffic has already increased on Kenton Lands," said Paula Gerding. "I feel it is becoming a hotspot for drugs there, and it is an eyesore."

On the other side Matt Olliges, a representative from Zalla Companies, the business that owns a building that is used by the pallet company Kamps. He said that if they want to retain the customers they have, Kamps needs the zone change.

Joe Conley, from Kamps Pallets, said the company can't stack the pallets too high, which was a complaint, because they don't have machines that can stack them that high. He also said they have a security system to monitor activity, and that they don't run a second shift, so they don't have noise issues after 3 pm or on Sunday.

Other concerns that the city administration addressed and clarified included the possibilities of drug use and the opening of adult-oriented businesses.

No one from Airport Towing, one of the other businesses in line for the zone change, came to speak at the meeting.

Crestview Hills mayor Paul Meier spoke about the buffer zone, speculating if it comes under the restrictions of a zone D buffer zone if they change the zoning. Dave Hahn, Director of Economic Development in Erlanger, said he didn't have the specifications for the buffer zone in question, but said the zoning change also adjusts the setback from 40 feet to 50 feet.

Diane Brown, Erlanger's representative on the Kenton County Planning and Zoning, tried to explain some of the specifics of the zone change, saying the specifications for the buffer zone were unclear. Councilwoman Vicki Kyle said she understood that the area in question was already zoned IP 1, so in rezoning to IP­4 they were only allowing the businesses to have outdoor storage. Brown explained that it also included towing, so potentially the property could be re-used and re-purposed down the line.

The zone change was merely scheduled for a first reading on Tuesday and will have a second reading and vote on January 5, Mayor Tyson Hermes said.

In other business, council quietly gave the OK to go ahead with filing a declaratory judgment action seeking guidance from Kenton County Circuit court as to the responsibilities of maintenance and repair of the lateral lines between the street and the residents' property, and particularly seeking clarification on the responsibilities between Sanitation District 1 and cities as far as right of way. This is the result of the Sanitation District wanting the cities in Northern Kentucky to sign an interlocal agreement in which the district agrees to pay for damages to lateral lines only up to a certain monetary value, and after that limit is reached, the damages are the responsibility of the homeowner.

Mayor Hermes did not think the agreement was fair, and he wanted to initiate the lawsuit, and hopes other cities will sign on. No other cities have filed on their own, but attorney Jack Gatlin said they expect 5 to 7 cities to join with Erlanger prior to filing by the end of the year.

Council agreed to change an area on Dixie Highway from R­1F to Neighborhood Commercial, or NC in a second reading of that ordinance. The Renaissance overlay, which had extended from Ellis Street to the Boone County line, was removed from all zones that had it in the second reading of an ordinance to that effect.

First readings were held for the changing of the buffer zone for the outdoor storage from 40 feet to 50 feet, and for the change of the zoning for the properties on Kenton Lands road from IP­1 to IP­4. Second readings for the two ordinances is expected on January 5.

A municipal order was passed which appointed Tom Cahill, Jr. as Erlanger's representative on the OKI board. A resolution was passed which added towing and auto repair as a conditional use for a business in Erlanger.

Johnny's Car Wash was honored as business spotlight for the city of Erlanger and Mayor Hermes presented Jeff Simpson, the owner of Johnny's, with a plaque.

Lieutenant Shawn Sims, from the Police Department, was honored for his 20 years of service in the Police department, and he received his pin at the meeting, as well as a standing Serena Owen honored all the council and governmental personnel as heroes in the city, saying they help the citizens have an improved quality of life, and they serve with integrity and pride.

Finally, the tree lighting for the city will be December 5 at Railroad Park, and a special train display will be set up at the city beginning December 11.

Story & photos by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Top photo: Crestview Hills Mayor Paul Meier addresses Erlanger City Council

Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Lieutenant Shawn Sims receives his 20 year pin at the regular council meeting.