New modeling program to help OH-KY-IN region with future land use decisions

Local governments now have a new tool to help make difficult land use policy decisions thanks to a new Fiscal Impact Analysis Model developed by the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI).

According to OKI officials, the new model is the first of its kind developed by a regional entity in the United States that will measure benefits and fiscal consequences of changes within the communities where it is used.  The model is seen as being particularly beneficial to smaller communities around the region that do not have the staff resources to perform such an analysis.

"In short, this Fiscal Impact Model will allow government to use tax dollars more wisely," said Campbell County Judge Executive and OKI board president Steve Pendery. "Every day local officials must balance the need for services against shrinking budgets. This Fiscal Impact Model will help find that delicate balance through a better understanding of positive outcomes and potential challenges related to development."

Future land use policy will now be able to be examined in terms of the costs and potential revenues associated with those decisions in addition to the potential community impacts.  The Fiscal Impact Model does this by calculating specific economic and demographic assumptions provided by the user, and will often be used to compare commercial and residential development scenarios.

"We're looking forward to providing this tool to our local governments," said Dennis Gordon, Executive Director of the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission. "Good land use decisions are based on a variety of factors. OKI's fiscal impact model makes it possible for officials to include an important element that's been missing when these decisions were made in the past."

OKI's involvement is even greater as its role as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) partially tasks OKI with the distribution of critical federal transportation funding around the region.  These transportation investments then often have a significant impact on economic development and land use patterns.

Anderson Township, Butler and Hamilton counties and Monroe and Oxford in Ohio, Dearborn County, IN, along with Boone, and Campbell Counties in Kentucky, and the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission have initially tested the new model, and OKI officials are working to expand the partnership to others in the area.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
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