Sunday, February 29, 2004

Boone's master plan gets revision



By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BURLINGTON - The document guiding development in Boone County is about to get a makeover.

But it'll be more makeup than plastic surgery.

"I really don't foresee a whole lot of changes," said Dave Geohegan, director of planning services for the county's planning commission.

The update gives residents a chance to have their ideas about development and preservation included in the document that guides planning commissioners.

The plan is the legal basis of the county's zoning, which is updated after the plan is adopted.

"You can't have zoning in the county unless you have a comprehensive plan to base it on," Geohegan said.

In the state's second-fastest-growing county, with as many as 2,100 new residents every year, changes in zoning are a frequent request.

The plan is crucial to people "concerned about what's happening to that property next to them," said Geohegan.

Over the next year, the planning commission will hold several public workshops to get comments on changes to the plan. The first, Tuesday, will focus on the plan's goals and objectives - principles that guide preservation and development.

Future workshops will be held on other elements of the plan, including land use. Those workshops have not been scheduled.

Key questions, Geohegan said, include:

• Whether the county has identified enough land for residential and industrial development.

• Whether new rural water lines will spur development.

• How the delay in building a new sewer plant will affect development.

During the last update of the goals section, the planning commission proposed new ideas that touched off an extensive debate. It took almost a year to adopt goals.

"I don't see us pursuing any new ideas at this point," Geohegan said.

The delay came as property rights groups and homebuilders submitted their own goals. The words "establish" and "protect" were changed to "consider" and the result was two sets of goals - one for the county's three cities and one for the county.

The aim now is to have one set of goals, Geohegan said.

Residents can submit ideas for goals and objectives at a workshop Tuesday.

A public hearing will be held in April, then the goals will be sent to Fiscal Court and the three city councils for approval.

View the 2000 goals and objectives at www.boonecountyky.org.

Public workshop, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Boone County Extension District Office at 6028 Camp Ernst Road.

E-mail bkelly@enqurier.com.




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