By Travis Gettys
FORT WRIGHT - City Council will vote Sept. 8 on a draft proposal of a long-range plan to develop a three-mile stretch of Ky. 17 near Interstate 275 where Wal-Mart is set to open this month.
of Ky. 17 looking north from I-275 in Fort Wright. Planners are presenting
recommendations to Fort Wright city council on the development of
(Patrick Reddy/The Enquirer)
Area planners recommended to City Council on Wednesday that the area be designated as a special development area to give the city more control over growth, including architectural guidelines for new buildings.
If council approves the draft proposal, area planners will draw up a comprehensive plan and then zoning guidelines, each of which must also be approved by City Council.
Officials from the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission have studied the site since March, anticipating increased traffic from the long-planned Wal-Mart and expected growth in neighboring areas.
Independence, just a few miles south on Ky. 17, is expected to add 6,000 households by 2020, said Keith Logsdon, deputy director of long-range planning for the commission.
Ky. 17, or Licking Pike, provides the best north-south access to I-275 for southern portions of Kenton County, where most of the population growth is expected, Logsdon said.
The area would be made up of mostly retail and residential development, with road improvements to handle more traffic and a heavy emphasis on green space along Banklick Creek.
"The challenge is to increase traffic capacity without widening the highway," Logsdon said.
Most left-hand turns would be eliminated, and interior access roads would run through parking lots, which planners recommended be placed behind buildings. Highland Pike also could be extended a short way across Ky. 17.
At least one roundabout - a road junction formed around a circle with traffic moving in only one direction - will be added to Ky. 17, likely near the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky hub, which could be expanded.
About 43 percent of the area is vacant, but most of that land is in a flood plain or is too steep to build on, and 21 percent is zoned for industrial use, planners said.
The planning commission recommended zoning regulations that would allow multi-family and senior citizen housing and retail development, noting that the area's supply of office and industrial space is higher than the demand.
However, the commission forecasts some limited long-range potential for office and industrial growth.
The northern end of the proposed zoning district, near Howard Litzler Road, would likely remain unchanged, Logsdon said, although it could be zoned for future industrial development.
The central portion of the zone, near Wal-Mart and I-275, would add retail and residential development, although Eaton Asphalt Paving Co. and a new Sanitation District No. 1 facility will remain.
The southern end of the development zone, near the junction with Old Ky. 17, would remain zoned for industrial use, with added green space and some high-density residential development, planners said.
Cheney goes on offensive
Senator, wife heap praise on Bush
GOP speeches elicit strong responses
Young voters get own event
Bush enlists aid of famous Buckeyes
Protest arrests set record
Notes from New York
Remarks by Rob Portman
Remarks by Elaine Chao
Remarks by Mitch McConnell
TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Ex-husband: Allen persisted
Attorney general to investigate claims
Smitherman: Tax stock options
Ky. 17 plan predicts growth
Airport's noise will dip, then escalate, officials say
Kids survive wreck, but parents killed
Question on roots gets Davis riled up
Gateway wins $1.7M U.S. education grant
Shopping center advances
Persistent candidate on his way to the top
Springboro teacher resigns
Fairfield police reduce traffic control staffing
United Way hires UC to help analyze community's needs
Crash left him changed
Township 'biggie-sizes' lots
Clermont recycling expands, improves
Great Outdoor Weekend mimics 'Sampler' success
Bronson: Springboro feels snubbed by museum
Good Things Happening: Sycamore grad still seeking marrow match
Hannah H. Hagin put family foremost
NEWS FROM THE REGION
Homecoming high art for Guard and families
Soldier from local unit charged in Afghan deaths
7-year-old Iraqi patient out of Children's Hospital
Kings to honor gold-medal grad
City property tax rollback on ballot
Foundation to help soldiers
Attorneys for accused shooter face legal tangle
Worker training seems to help
Woman charged in fatal stabbing
Loveland derailment cleared
Public safety briefs