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At last Wednesday’s meeting of the Morehead-Rowan County-Lakeview Heights Joint Planning Commission, board members were given copies of the City of Morehead’s draft comprehensive plan.

The plan, required by the state, is being developed by the Commission as a steering committee and by McBride Dale Clarion, a community planning consulting firm.

Those two groups have met regularly to review and prioritize various elements of the plan.

“We are looking to gain a fresh view of the future,” said Joe Parson, city planner. “It's been 15 years since we sat down and created a comprehensive plan.”

Three public events for citizen input have been held. A special meeting was held with the NewCity Morehead board to gain insight.

The planning process has included four phases: background and analysis, visioning, plan drafting and adoption.

The plan itself is divided into introduction, goals and strategies, strategic action plan and an area development plan.

The use of a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis was used by the drafting group to better organize the development and expansion process.

“We have to focus on things that are necessary,” said Parson. “The city has been working with a low-end budget, but has really been making things happen.”

The initial research enabled the group to develop a strategic plan that will recommend actions for targeted areas and functions within the city.

“The majority of goals in our previous plan have been accomplished,” Parson said. “Now we have to manage our growth with our development and expansion.”

Listed are eight categories with 67 combined topical goals. The comprehensive plan describes ideas for strategic action in areas of emphasis in the city.

The strategy covers the possibility of expansion of the industrial area on KY 801, the aging of the area around KY 32 and I-64, and the positive influences of the university and hospital.

“We've gotten a lot accomplished over the last five years,” said Parson. “We are more than willing to partner with people to help better the city, similar to the way we've worked with MSU and St. Claire Regional Medical Center.”

The last portion of the comprehensive plan handles area development plans.

“We have limited resources of land,” said Parson. “We have had no choice but to spread out across the area.”

“Traffic projections show that travel through the city is expected to increase over the next 5-10 years. With this prediction, changes to accommodate the traffic will have to be made,” he added.

The comprehensive plan supports a second Morehead exit on I-64, a redevelopment of the former US 60 tobacco warehouses into housing services, and a more pedestrian friendly downtown.

Public comments on the proposed comprehensive plan for the City of Morehead will be reviewed at the Planning Commission’s Feb. 5 meeting. A public meeting on the plan likely will be held in March.

Written comments may be submitted via email at or by mail to City Planner Joseph Parson at 314 Bridge Street Morehead, KY 40351 by Feb. 5.

Citizens can get access to the draft plan by contacting the city planner. It also is available on the Chamber of Commerce website at

Brad Stacy can be reached at or by phone at 784-4116.


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