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Housing Development Continues to Raise Questions at Council Meetings

Park Hills city council may soon invited representatives from Sanitation District 1 to an upcoming meeting to discuss the utility's role in the Park Pointe residential development along the Covington-Park Hills border where Gateway Community & Technical College previously operated a campus.

In February, resident Joe Daugherty had expressed concern about the design of a detention basin being installed by SD1 at the lower portion of Amsterdam Road to accommodate the development.

He objected to the 20-ft. high basin for both its height and its grade, but was told by SD1 that the issue had been studied and the best design had been selected, and that the Army Corps of Engineers had signed off on it.

At last week's council meeting, Daugherty returned to request a public hearing on the matter, with Councilwoman Sarah Froelich agreeing that one should take place.

Councilwoman Pam Spoor said that the agreement had already been signed and that developer Paul Zeltwanger of Joshua One was not interested in spending more money on that part of the project. Spoor said she had no objection to reaching out to SD1 one but said that the utility is in charge of that decision.

Spoor went on to list what she views as positives within the Park Pointe project: work on Amsterdam Road to include widening, milling, and overlay to extend its life by twenty years, with the addition of a curb and gutter; adding a pathway from Montague Road to Trolley Park; addition of street lights and a Welcome to Park Hills sign; a $100,000 payment to the city for sale of the property; landscaping at the bottom of Amsterdam which will then be taken over by the future homeowners association.

But she also listed what she views as cons, such as the closure of part of Amsterdam while work takes place, something that could take at least six months and up to a year.

Mayor Kathy Zembrodt said SD-1 could be invited to an upcoming meeting.

Council also revisited its proposed tree ordinance, which was first considered with a first reading in September. A new first reading was held last week since the ordinance had seen some changes, city attorney Kyle Winslow said.

The ordinance requires the tree board to develop a plan for the care, preservation, pruning, replanting, removal, or disposition of park and street trees.

Spoor explained that the main difference from September is that the tree board has no problem identifying the trees that are dead or dying within the city, both on private and public land, but its members understand that they have no power to compel homeowners to cut down the problem trees.

The city's ordinance would allow for consideration of imminent threat and nuisance. If a homeowner doesn't respond to communications from the city, the city can proceed with removal or trimming, or even put a lien on the property.

Zembrodt said the issue was important, noting the death of a woman in Ft. Wright in 2017 from a falling tree.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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