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Ft. Mitchell to Consider Ways to Thin Deer Population, Change Flag Lot Rules

Ft. Mitchell may soon have a plan in place to thin the deer population within the city limits. At the city council caucus meeting Monday night, several members discussed options for controlling the population, which everyone agreed had become problematic.

Mayor Jude Hehman suggested a plan that allowed local police officers to hunt the deer with a bow-and-arrow. Officers would obtain permission from a landowner, and then obtain a permit from the city to hunt the deer. Under his plan, the officers would comply with state regulations for hunting season, and hunt only while off-duty.

No official plan was approved, but the council said it plans to have something drafted up for discussion at the next city council meeting on October 3.

Council continued an ongoing discussion about making amendments to regulations on flag lots. The changes may include a change to the minimum acreage that is considered a flag lot and harsher penalties for not acquiring a permit for the clearing of trees.

Last spring, several residents were infuriated when, on Easter morning, they awoke to bulldozers plowing trees on a property that backs up to Requardt Lane. The owner of the property had not acquired the necessary permits to doze the trees, but neither the city nor neighbors could do much to stop him from continuing to plow.

Under new regulations for flag lots, the city hopes to avoid similar situations.

“This is a start to something that has to be addressed. I can’t imagine if I woke up one morning and all of the trees surrounding my house were gone, and I had no warning and no say in the matter. And right now, they’re allowed to do that,” said Councilwoman Beth Rose. “People have land rights, but if they want to tear things down, they need to go through the proper procedure to do so.”

No official changes were passed Wednesday, but Councilwoman Vicki Boerger presented a preliminary list of potential changes. Several attendees weighed in with concerns and suggestions for how the changes should be implemented, and the general consensus was that some kind of changes needed to be made. The council says it plans to continue the discussion with the public in future meetings.

Council also unanimously approved the application for a state grant that would fund almost entirely a project to widen the sidewalks on Dixie Highway from Sunnymede Drive to the Sunoco just past Beechwood Road. The project would cost about $1.2 million, and the city would match 20 percent of the total cost.

City Administrator Sharmili Reddy says the application process will be highly competitive, but she believes the amount of foot traffic along that stretch of Dixie Highway will give Ft. Mitchell the upper hand. Reddy says the city should know sometime early next year whether they received the grant.

Written by Alex Valentine, RCN contributor