City council to consider new plan for future

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By Molly Haines

Nearly 20 years have passed since the city of Owenton’s comprehensive plan was brought up to date, but with the help of the community and Northern Kentucky Area Development District, a new plan is expected to be approved next month.
The current comprehensive plan was approved as it was in July 2012, but the current plan had not been revised or updated in 20 years.
Updating the plan became a priority after concerns regarding it came up during the process of changing the property at 311 South Main Street, known as the Ford property, from R-1 (residential) to C-1 (commercial).
The community was invited to give its input on what they would like to see in the city’s future in December. Following the meeting, development planners from NKADD took into account the suggestions when writing the updated plan.
According to the plan’s introduction, the plan represents a guide for the long-term growth and development for the city and is intended to provide citizens and businesses with a detailed description of the present state of the city.  
The plan includes a vision to guide future development, an inventory of the community’s resources, an analysis of trends, a series of recommendations and an implementation strategy.
The plan also includes a list of needed improvements suggested by those who attended the community meeting.
The improvements include specialty shops in the downtown area, good paying jobs, more parking in the downtown area, design standards and code enforcement and a substance abuse program.
Owenton Mayor Doug West said the plan basically brings everything up to date from the past 20 years.
“Overall it’s something to start with,” West said. “We had to start somewhere and as we go along if there’s anything that needs to be added to it we can do that.”
West said in order to add to the plan, the planning and zoning board can make those recommendations for the city council to approve.                                                                                                                                        The council is expected to approve the updated plan at its April 2 meeting.

Owenton Mayor Doug West will give his annual state of the city address at the Owen County Courthouse at 7 p.m. Thursday. The public is invited to attend.