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Park Hills Hires Attorney to Fight Housing Development

The City of Park Hills hired an attorney to help in its opposition to the development of 25 new single-family homes on a nearly 13-acre site that would be accessed from Audubon Road. 
City Council, at a special meeting on Tuesday night, contracted with attorney Chris Markus, of Dressman Benzinger Lavelle law firm, to lead the city's case. City engineer Jay Bayer found some issues with the site, it was noted Tuesday, that may not comply with the zoning ordinances in the city. Markus was retained because of his specialty knowledge in zoning issues.
Mayor Matt Mattone has been authorized to spend up to $20,000 to fight the development legally.
In September, the plan by property owner James Berling to develop 25 single family houses on the 13-acre site first drew the ire of nearby residents. Two weeks later, a special meeting was called for neighbors and city leaders to explore their options and vent their frustrations with the plans. Earlier this month, members of Park Hills city council looked for alternative ways to block the development, like regulating the trees on the property or withdrawing from the Kenton County Planning Commission.
Members of council claim that they were caught off guard by the planned development, but Mayor Mattone, who also speaks against the development, said that council has been kept aware of every move. He joined The River City News publisher Michael Monks to discuss the issue at length in a podcast.

After council voted to retain outside council, an executive session was held to discuss the litigation. Council members said that Planning & Development Services said that the council had no authority over the development. 

Council created a team that will meet with Markus and have him report his findings and recommendations. Council members Pam Spoor, Kathy Zembrodt, and Steve Elkins will make up the team, with Greg Claypole as an alternate.

Also on the agenda at Tuesday night's special meeting was permission to repair the Welcome to Park Hills sign on Dixie Highway. It was announced that the Stamm Brothers will repair the sign at their own expense, a very generous offer that the city appreciates. It appears that a person on a motorcycle talking on a cell phone ran into the sign causing the damage.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor