Kenton County Site Readiness Initiative

Kenton County is home to numerous different development patterns and land uses within its more than 100,000 acre area.  The land use element of Direction 2030, Kenton County’s comprehensive plan, works to plan for incorporating these multiple uses in a way that benefits the county’s residents through strengthening economic development.

Recently, an effort was started to examine one of the plan’s recommendations related to industrial land.  This effort brings local experts and officials from the Fiscal Court together to help implement the industrial section of Direction 2030 as described below:

semiCurrently there are 3,279 acres of existing industrial land and 5,244 acres of land zoned for industrial use, of which a minimal number of acres are readily available for immediate use with all necessary industrial grade infrastructure in place. There is a need for land which has the appropriate infrastructure in place to support industrial uses. Large parcels (50 acres or more) of ready to build upon land are in particularly short supply and efforts should be made to increase the amount of such land in the county.

Land suitable for industrial use is at a premium and efforts to encourage more should continue. Identifying suitable land for industrial use should be determined on the basis of advantageous characteristics without considering political boundaries and in conjunction with comprehensive plans of neighboring counties.

In the first quarter of 2016, Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann formed a “Site Readiness Taskforce” to analyze land in Kenton County and identify parcels that are ready for industrial development. The taskforce contains members from Kenton County Fiscal Court, PDS, TRI-ED, The Northern Kentucky Water District, Duke Energy, REDI Cincinnati, SD-1 and citizen stakeholders.

Through the spring and summer of 2016 PDS staff, LinkGIS, and TRI-ED worked together to conduct a GIS analysis of all 62,206 parcels in Kenton County. Through careful analysis of multiple characteristics, only certain parcels were identified as having industrial potential.  Parcels that were unfit were eliminated through factors including parcel size, existing buildings, developmentally sensitive areas (environmental concerns), zoning, access to major roads, and access to water and sewer infrastructure.

The site readiness analysis yielded only 20 parcels in the county that meet all the identified criteria for industrial development. These sites were termed “short-term” potential sites. Additionally, these sites were further scrutinized based on ownership and the owner’s potential willingness to sell. TRI-ED is currently working with a site selection consultant to analyze and improve the readiness for development of 6 “short-term” sites in Kenton County.

Those sites that have some, but not all of the necessary criteria for industrial development have been termed “future consideration” sites. The taskforce will be working over the course of 2017 to further analyze these sites and determine a strategy to bring additional sites into the short-term pipeline for industrial development.  Please check back on this page for more information on the