City ap­proves change in park­ing lot or­di­nance

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­

Some new businesses com­ing to Cov­ing­ton can now have park­ing fac­ing the road af­ter a fi­nal read­ing was unan­i­mously ap­proved Tues­day evening by the Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil.

The or­di­nance that passed al­lows a busi­ness ad­ja­cent to a road with a speed limit of 45 mph or greater to put its park­ing lot be­tween the build­ing and road.

Mayor Ron­nie John­ston said the or­di­nance was time sen­si­tive be­cause a prospect, which was be­ing called Project Two, was in­ter­ested in pur­chas­ing land off exit 93 next to the Hamp­ton Inn and needed to make sure the orig­i­nal or­di­nance, not al­low­ing any park­ing be­tween a build­ing and roads with speed lim­its at 45 mph or less, was amended.

John­ston pointed out to the coun­cil they voted to change the or­di­nance last month with a unan­i­mous vote, but that the dead­line for Project Two needed an im­me­di­ate ap­proval of the fi­nal read­ing.

“The is­sue is with the way the land is set up, the ac­tual (build­ing) and the way it is con­structed,” said Serra Hill, di­rec­tor of commercial de­vel­op­ment for the Cov­ing­ton/New­ton County Of­fice of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment.

Hill said the prospect is re­quired to have a cer­tain num­ber of park­ing spa­ces in re­la­tion to the size of the build­ing, and the only way that is pos­si­ble is if park­ing is al­lowed in the front of the build­ing fac­ing In­dus­trial Blvd.

Hill and the Of­fice of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment have been work­ing with the prospect since Jan­uary and were fac­ing the risk of los­ing Project Two to an­other county.

Mayor John­ston said lift­ing the or­di­nance on roads 45 mph or greater will al­low more op­por­tu­nity for new businesses to come to the city and county while re­tain­ing the aes­thetic ap­peal and pro­tec­tion needed on slower roads through­out the county’s his­toric districts.

Pend­ing the coun­cil’s ap­proval Tues­day evening, John­ston asked the Plan­ning and Zon­ing Depart­ment to make sug­ges­tions on ad­di­tions to the or­di­nance that would en­hance rules for buf­fers and land­scap­ing be­tween the road and build­ing.

Liquor store drive-thru?

The owner of the new liquor store com­ing to Cov­ing­ton may be al­lowed to have a drive-thru win­dow.

The change in the or­di­nance to al­low such a pur­chas­ing op­tion is to be put on an up­com­ing agenda, ap­proved at that stage 4-1.

Cur­rently, only walk-up al­co­hol pur­chases are al­lowed.

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