Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Neighbors protest plan to build new subdivision

Enquirer Contributor

        INDEPENDENCE — An Independence developer wants to build pricy homes along Marshall Road, but people who already live there fear floods.

        Keeney Development of Erlanger asked the Kenton County Fiscal Court on Tuesday for a zoning change to allow its proposed Manor Hill subdivision. It would be built on an 89-acre site along Marshall Road near Steep Creek Road.

        About 53 acres is located in Independence, with the rest in unincorporated Kenton County. Both the fiscal court and Independence City Council have to approve Keeney's request. Independence could vote either in December or January.

        Kurt Keeney, a Keeney Development co-owner, said Manor Hill would have up to 176 single-family homes. The lots would be 70 to 120 feet wide and 150 feet deep, and the homes would have 1,500 to 4,000 square feet of space and cost from $175,000 to $400,000.

        “Retirees can move into this community on a smaller lot and build a nice-sized house,” Mr. Keeney said. “Some people are anti-development. You can't stop growth; you can only do quality projects.”

        Jeff Jarboe doesn't want the project near his Marshall Road home. He said if Manor Hill is built, other developers will come in and burden county infrastructure and schools.

        “Every school in southern Kenton County is above capacity,” Mr. Jarboe said. “The only reason you can justify this is economics.”

        Jim Knarr, who lives on Marshall Road, needs only look at pictures of rushing water from a nearby creek taken during a June 1998 storm to know he doesn't want Manor Hill as a neighbor.

        “Marshall Road has been under 40 inches of water,” Mr. Knarr said. “It's going to get worse if we keep building here.”

        The Kenton County and Municipal Planning and Zoning Commission approved the plan last month, provided engineering studies are done and left turn lanes on Marshall Road are built. County planners eventually would have to approve Keeney's final plans.

        Current zoning regulations allow up to two housing units per acre. County Planner Larisa Keith said Manor Hill would have about 2.2 units per acre once land set aside for green space, a park and a 1.8-mile walking trail is taken out.

        Mr. Jarboe said Manor Hill could bring in up to five units per acre, which he said is too many to catch the storm water that would come down Marshall Road Creek.


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