Reimag­in­ing Cov­ing­ton

Cen­ter for Com­mu­nity Preser­va­tion and Plan­ning pro­poses new zones

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Oswald

Eight new zon­ing clas­si­fi­ca­tions have been pro­posed for the city of Cov­ing­ton’s zon­ing or­di­nance.

Th­ese new zon­ing clas­si­fi­ca­tions, if adopted by the city coun­cil, would re­place 12 other clas­si­fi­ca­tions which city plan­ning of­fi­cials be­lieve are ei­ther out­moded or overly cum­ber­some.

The new zon­ing clas­si­fi­ca­tions were pre­sented to the pub­lic at a Mon­day night meet­ing at The Cen­ter for Com­mu­nity Preser­va­tion and Plan­ning.

The new clas­si­fi­ca­tions are the re­sult of a study con­ducted by the city last fall which ex­am­ined ex­ist­ing zon­ing con­di­tions to find a way of im­ple­ment­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions of the U.S. High­way 278 Liv­able Cor­ri­dor Ini­tia­tives Pro­gram.

The pur­pose of the LCI study — funded by a fed­eral trans­porta­tion grant— is to sup­port lo­cal plan­ning which links trans­porta­tion and land use in ac­tiv­ity cen­ters in an ef­fort to pro­mote con­nec­tiv­ity and­walk­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties.

As one of Cov­ing­ton’s busiest and most vi­tal through­ways, U.S. High­way 278 was se­lected to high­light the study. Cov­ing­ton has con­tracted with the city plan­ning firm, Mar­ket and Main, to re­vise its zon­ing or­di­nances.

“There’s some­thing miss­ing with High­way 278,” said Aaron Fort­ner, a prin­ci­pal with Mar­ket and Main at Mon­day night’s meet­ing.

Fort­ner has pre­vi­ously said that the ex­ist­ing zon­ing con­di­tions on U.S. High­way 278 and the sur­round­ing ar­eas do not en­cour­age con­nec­tiv­ity and a com­mu­nity en­vi­ron­ment be­cause there are no re­quire­ments for side­walks, street trees, open pub­lic spa­ces, etc.

“Ev­ery street should have a side­walk; ev­ery street should look great. Ev­ery street should have street trees,” Fort­ner said.

Fort­ner said his firm is two weeks away from hav­ing a pub­lic draft of the zon­ing rec­om­men­da­tions avail­able. Once it is ready, the draft rec­om­men­da­tions can be read on The Cen­ter’s Web-site at www.thecen­ter-new­ton. org.

Af­ter the pub­lic has had time to give their in­put, Fort­ner said the zon­ing rec­om­men­da­tions would be pre­sented to the Cov­ing­ton Plan­ning Com­mis­sion in Oc­to­ber.

Fort­ner em­pha­sized that ex­ist­ing uses would be “grand­fa­thered in” to the new zon­ing or­di­nances once the city for­mally adopts them. De­vel­op­ments which have al­ready been per­mit­ted but have not yet had con­struc­tion be­gin will also be grand­fa­thered in.

Un­der the zon­ing draft rec­om­men­da­tions, an en­tirely new zon­ing dis­trict would be cre­ated: NR-3, Neigh­bor­hood Res­i­den­tial 3. This new dis­trict would al­low for the build­ing of town­houses such as the ones in Walker’s Bend and in Clark’s Grove.

Fort­ner said this new dis­trict would ideally be ap­plied to streets on the fringes of neigh­bor­hoods which are closer to the city’s main cor­ri­dors.

The High­way Com­mer­cial (HC) clas­si­fi­ca­tion would be re­placed by a new dis­trict called Cor­ri­dor Mix ( CM). Fort­ner said the new clas­si­fi­ca­tion brings with it an in­cen­tive for more mixed-use de­vel­op­ment and for the re­de­vel­op­ment of ex­ist­ing com­mer­cial uses.

An­other sub­stan­tial change to the or­di­nances would be the lump­ing to­gether of the mul­ti­fam­ily res­i­den­tial dis­trict (R- 4) with the Res­i­den­tial, Light Com­mer­cial dis­trict (R-LC) into a new dis­trict called CR for Cor­ri­dor Res­i­den­tial.

This new clas­si­fi­ca­tion could be used on such ar­eas as Wash­ing­ton Street or the By­pass Road, Fort­ner said. The new dis­trict would al­low for apart­ment build­ings and com­mer­cial uses among other things.

“Some­thing’s got to hap­pen with th­ese cor­ri­dors,” Fort­ner said. “We don’t like the way they look to­day.

Aaron Fort­ner, Mar­ket and Main

A look ahead: Th­ese sketches, pre­pared by city plan­ning firm Marker and Main demon­strates one pos­si­ble vi­sion for Cov­ing­ton’s fu­ture.

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