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First Draft of Covington's New Approach to Zoning to Be Presented Tuesday

The City of Covington is moving forward with its plans to change the way it handles its zoning ordinance.

The public is invited to take a look at the first draft of an 18-month effort to create a new zoning ordinance, a move to a flexible Neighborhood Development Code.

On Tuesday, a meeting is sponsored by city staff and Kendig Keast Collaborative, the consultant hired to help transform the city's approach.

"We're finished with the first section draft - the part that defines character districts, uses, and development standards - and we want to hear what residents, neighborhood leaders, businesses and developers think," said Christopher Myers, the city's preservation & planning specialist.

The meeting - from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Hellmann Creative Center at 321 M.L. King Jr. Blvd./West 12th St. - is a "come-and-go event" where the consultant team will present progress to date and ask for feedback.

The second section, or module, should be finished in a few weeks, a news release said. It focuses on site design such as lighting, parking and landscaping. The third module will address development review bodies and procedures, as well as enforcement. It will be finished in January.

You can see the draft of the first module by looking on the NDC project website, here, and clicking on "VIEW DRAFT NDC."

You can also give general feedback on particular areas of Covington where you think zoning works or doesn't work by putting "pins" and comments on a map, here.

Module 1 contains detailed information about proposed character districts in Covington intended to define the "character" of everything from "rural residential" to "traditional urban mixed-use" to "auto-urban commercial" to "resource protection" areas.

Dalton Belcher, the city's new zoning administrator, said he's seen day-by-day the need for a new approach to zoning and development approval in Covington, one that's more flexible and encourages the kind of development the City wants instead of enforcing rigid requirements that no longer reflect the character of an area.

"I hear this phrase all the time, My neighbor did this, why can't I?," he said. "They don't realize all the legal hoops their neighbor had to jump through because of the current zoning ordinance."

"This makes so much sense for the unique city that Covington is," Belcher said.

The public will be able to see from the draft of Module 1 that the new code strives to eliminate "all the silly and technical 'gotchas' and glitches that cost a lot of time and effort on behalf of both property owners and city staff," Myers said.

-Staff report