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Taylor Mill to Move Forward on Restaurant's Patio, Downtown Zoning Changes

The City of Taylor Mill board of commissioners will hold a special meeting on Wednesday to vote on zoning changes related to one restaurant on Taylor Mill Road and its Downtown Taylor Mill zone.

The issues were already heard by the Kenton County Planning Commission where they were received favorably. 

Knuk N Futz, the popular restaurant on Taylor Mill Road known for its wings, will likely be able to move forward on its long-awaited patio. In 2014, the project was denied by a city board for a variety of violations of the zone.

In July, the city held a public meeting about the issue that drew dozens of Knuk N Futz supporters to Pride Park where they all wore the same green T-shirts to show their enthusiasm for the business and owner Kevin Novesl.

Some conditions will apply to the change, such as no live music or sound amplifiers being permitted outside (although televisions will be permitted). The outdoor section can't exceed 25 percent of the maximum seating capacity of the indoor dining area, and no drive-through facility will be permitted. There will be no outdoor service allowed after 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and after 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

"I am relieved," said Kevin Novesl, owner of the family restaurant. "Appreciative for (Commissioners) Phil Peace and Sarah (Frietch), but relieved and glad that we are going to be moving forward."

Novesl said the very next day after the text amendment is approved, he will begin to acquire the necessary permits to start work on his outdoor patio. He doesn't see everything being done this year, but he hopes to be able to get the electrical work finished and the doors and railings installed so that he can put some tables out on the patio. He has a site plan laid out for parking and other items, and he would like to have some wrought iron for the doors. He said that he knows there will still be setbacks, but he is not as worried about those, and feels like most of uphill battle is now behind him.

"I don't understand why this was so complicated," he said, since he has been working for this improvement for four years, "but I definitely look forward to this being a more positive relationship. We finally have some commissioners who are paying attention and we can move forward in this project."

The special meeting set for Wednesday was suggested by Peace since the end of construction season is approaching.

The changes to Taylor Mill's DTM, or downtown, zoning, are related to setbacks, parking and sidewalk requirements, and changes to permitted uses, among other issues. The downtown zone has also been a thorny subject for the past few years as a proposed United Dairy Farmers gas station and convenience store - which would be developed on property owned by Commissioner Peace - stalled with support from the public but could not move forward as planned due to conflicts with the zoning.

Other notes:

Police Chief Steve Knauf announced that the department had a great candidate to take the job vacated by administrative assistant Sandy Meyer on her retirement, and commissioners needed to vote to accept her employment. 

Commissioner Frietch argued that she would remain consistent in her position that the city cannot continue increasing its employment budget as it did last year by hiring retired police officers, in which the department spent more than anticipated, she said. She and Peace voted against the new hire, but Mayor Bell and Commissioners Dan Murray and Mark Kreimborg voted in favor.

Senator Chris McDaniel, a co-sponsor of SB 226, came to the meeting to discuss the proposed resolution to separate the county employees retirement system (CERS) from the state employee retirement system (KRS). He told the commission that it would take $950 million each year for 30 years to fix KRS, and at 13 percent funded, it was in trouble.

"We can't put money in fast enough," he said. "It is a negative cash flow."

McDaniel said he thinks there will be a special session of the legislature in September or October to deal with the issue, and with all the cities passing resolutions to split the two systems, he was hoping there would be a chance for that to happen. Commissioners passed the resolution.

They also passed a resolution approving a hazard mitigation plan from the county, so that the city can receive FEMA funds if there is a disaster, and another approving a request to remove Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties from the list of areas which have to have reformulated gasoline, an effort the Chamber of Commerce has been trying to achieve for seven years.

Another resolution passed which gives firm support to Covington Mayor Joe Meyer's effort to change the Brent Spence corridor project. The resolution opposes tolls and calls the financing plan disruptive, and states that alternative plans, such as the Cincinnati Eastern Bypass, have not been adequately explored.   

A resolution was passed which recognized the visit from Supreme Governor Willard Kitchens of the Loyal Order of Moose.

City Clerk Gena Forsyth was recognized for completing a three-year course to become a Certified Municipal Clerk. Her family was on hand to see her receive her certificate.

Lieutenant Ron Wilson received the fourth certificate of accreditation which will allow the city's police force to be accredited through the year 2022.

The commission also approved allowing Mayor Dan Bell to do all the paperwork relayed to annexing the 36 acres of land in Pride park that belongs to Covington. Bell told the commission that the City of Covington is willing to let the city annex the land but that it doesn't want to do any of the paperwork.  Meanwhile, progress has been made on Pride Park projects and concrete has been poured. It is hoped that the new playground surface can be put in soon, and then the new equipment can be installed.

Commissioners also accepted the resignations of John Lucas from the Board of Adjustments and of two part-time firefighters/medics.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Michael Monks, editor & publisher, contributed