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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

2021 Street Program and "AirBnB" Rental Zoning Approved in Fort Thomas

Waterworks Road and Wilbers Lane are the two streets on the 2021 Street Program in Fort Thomas. 

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by Robin Gee, city council beat editor

Fort Thomas City Council held a short meeting on April 19, working through some ordinances and a host of city board appointments.

During renovations underway at the city building, council has been meeting in the Mess Hall in Tower Park (801 Cochran Ave.). Meetings will continue at 7 p.m. at this location for the time being.

Leading the list was the 2021 Streets Program. Council approved the “intent to proceed” on street resurfacing for Waterworks Boulevard and Wilbers Lane, after hearing a recommendation from the city’s Public Works Committee.

Ken Bowman, chair of the Public Works Committee, noted that a public hearing, attended by about 35 residents was held March 23. The main concern residents had, he said, was drainage on their streets. The committee, that also includes council members Constance Grubbs and Adam Blau, recommended approval to proceed with the street project. 

The street program receives a public hearing each year for the community, with affected homeowners getting a certified letter inviting them to the hearing since the city individually accesses each property owner for a portion of the street resurfacing. 

Sixty-eight property owners will pay personal assessments totaling $85,528, with an average bill totaling $1,257.76 each. The two low and high assessments were $221 for an individual on Memorial Parkway, abutting Waterworks and the Northern Kentucky Water District, paying $19,282 for their portion. 

Blau suggested taking a look at speed issues on Wilbers since it is being widened. Council agreed and voted to send the issue to the Public Safety Committee for discussion and review.

Two ordinances concerning adding language about short-term rental businesses as a permitted use to some resident and commercial zones and adjusting parking-related requirements, were passed by city council. 

The vote was 5 to 1 in favor. Blau voted against the ordinance saying he still had concerns at this time. 

"Although I believe the committee did a nice job of vetting the problems other local cities have had with AirBnB’s with this ordinance, after speaking with another city administrators, elected officials and a commonwealth attorney who have dealt with this in Northern Kentucky,  I don’t believe the positives outweigh the negatives," he said.

RELATED: Fort Thomas Planning Recommends Adding Short-term Rentals to Zoning Codes

More city business

Council approved a long list of municipal orders re-appointing Fort Thomas residents to various city boards and commissions. These included re-appointment of:

  • Barry Petracco, Mark Thurnauer, Jack Sackenheim and Barb Thomas to the Design Review Board
  • Carol Dixon, Steve Dauer and Susan Wingard to the Board of Adjustment
  • Mark Leopold to the Tree Commission

Two new police officers, Christopher Vance and Jeremy Moore, were appointed through executive orders. They will be introduced to the community at the May council meeting.

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