The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Kentucky Division of Water working with NKAPC staff work toward the development, release, and implementation of new floodplain maps for Kenton County. Updated zoning regulations recently approved by the Kenton County Planning Commission will complement the new mapping and provide added protection to the County’s floodplains.
“Kenton County’s current floodplain maps are anywhere from 30 to 50 years old,” said Trisha Brush, GISP, deputy director for GIS administration. “We’ve needed new floodplain mapping for some time but have had to wait until FEMA was prepared with the funding necessary to pursue it.”
Current maps include contours that are imprecise. The new maps include contours illustrating two to four feet changes in elevation. While most property owners know whether their homes and buildings are in a floodplain, these new maps will show them to what degree their properties are within or outside the designated areas.
“We’ve found that some people who thought they weren’t in a floodplain, actually are,” said Brush. “They’ll need to obtain flood insurance.”
She suggests that others who thought they were in the floodplain based on old mapping standards now see that they actually aren’t in a floodplain but are still exposed to some risk.
Brush says one benefit of these new digital maps is that they aren’t just on paper anymore.
“We’ll be able to load this mapping data into GIS and pull in aerial photography for a full digital representation of the data,” she said.
Kenton County’s new mapping is in the review stages and won’t be available to the public until September 2008. NKAPC’s current planning department is preparing for the implementation and administrator of the new mapping information.
“We’ve been working with the Kentucky Division of Water to develop floodplain management regulations that meet FEMA’s requirements,” said Michael Schwartz, AICP, deputy director for current planning. “The resulting provisions have been through the public hearing process of the Kenton County Planning Commission and have since been forwarded to the appropriate local governments for review and adoption.”
Local jurisdiction impacted by these improved maps and updated regulations include Bromley, Covington, Crescent Springs, Erlanger, Fairview, Fort Wright, Independence, unincorporated Kenton County, Kenton Vale, Ludlow, Ryland Heights, Taylor Mill, and Villa Hills.
To date, Covington, Fort Wright, Independence, unincorporated Kenton County, and Ryland Heights have approved the updated zoning provisions. Action before the balance of the local governments is pending.