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Zoning Issue for Private School Delayed Again in Erlanger

The issue of rezoning part of Erlanger to allow a private school to operate on a residential street returned to city council last week.

Though the Kenton County Planning Commission and the city's board of adjustment have already reported favorably on the possibility of Northern Kentucky Montessori Academy moving to Hulbert Avenue, city council has yet to weigh in officially with a vote.

On Tuesday, city councilwoman Corine Pitts asked to put the issue back to committee discussions for June 18.

Councilmen Gary Meyer and Tyson Hermes objected. Council agreed with Pitts, voting 8 to 1 to table it. Meyer dissented.

Residents who showed up to discuss the matter were frustrated because the issue had been put off before.

"People really don't want this," said Brandon Mardis, who lives on Hulbert, referring both to the zoning change that would allow private schools as well as public and parochial schools in residential zones, and to any school being located on Hulbert near the library.

Residents on this section of Hulbert, which is a two-lane road, don't want the addition of private schools to the amendment because they feel the developer, KWI Properties, is determined to encourage the NKY Montessori school to relocate on the part of their development with frontage on Hulbert. They are concerned about increased traffic.

The Montessori school has maintained that it is looking at several sites.

Resident Linda Ligas said that council needs to pay more attention to the part of the ordinance that recommends arterial roads for certain businesses and churches and schools.

"Everything seems like manipulation," Ligas said. "This is not a public school, it is not needed. This is our home! We are not against the Montessori school, but it is turning our area upside down. Where it is located now works because of the third lane."

She said she has collected an additional eighty signatures to add to her original petition opposing the change, and she gave them to City Adminsitrator Matthew Kremer.

Craig Tewes said he believes the text amendment is similar to opening Pandora's box, and that developers will use the amendment to put anything they can into residential neighborhoods.

Mayor Jessica Fette answered a question from a resident who wanted to know if they would have another chance to speak, saying the city's committee meetings are open to the public. City Attorney Jack Gatlin also said no action would be taken at the committee meeting, so it will come back to council at the next meeting in July.

Other notes:

Mayor Fette gave an update on Heritage Day.  

The city is trying to revamp the event so that it will resume as an event called Summer Send Off on September 19, 2020. Sponsorships are available and Fette is coordinating them. In the meantime, Art in the Park will be held in Misty Creek Park on September 21 this year.

Council passed the budget for 2019-2020. It also approved a resolution which agrees to the amount of Municipal Road Aid for next year which is $362,569.02.

The Northern Kentucky Young Marines were honored at the meeting because they were chosen as the Division 2 Unit of the Year, the best unit in the entire country. Mayor Fette declared June 5 as Northern Kentucky Young Marines day.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor