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A building permit is required when you intend to construct, enlarge, remodel, or change the occupancy of a building, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system.
Note: Not all work requires a building permit. Work such as painting, wallpapering, cabinets and countertops, replacing shingles, window replacement with windows having the same size window opening are examples of work exempt from permit requirements. If you are unsure whether your project requires a building permit, it is best to call Code Enforcement at 859-292-3637.
Each construction project is different and the drawings and details necessary vary depending on the scope of work. If you have questions, you are encouraged to call Code Enforcement at 859-292-3637 to ensure you have the right information.
All construction plans and details are to be drawn to scale and fully dimensioned.
When submitting to Code Enforcement, two hard copies and one digital (i.e. PDF on a thumb drive or disc) of construction plans shall be submitted along with a completed permit application form. Specialized systems such as fire alarm, sprinkler or range hood drawings may be submitted at a later date by the specific contractor or owner. If you are submitting for a plumbing permit in addition to a building permit, one set of plumbing plans each with a Building Permit application form shall be submitted.
For more information on plumbing permits, visit the Kentucky Plumbing Division website.
There are several forms that are important, but none so much as the Building Permit application form. The form is to be completed with all information pertinent to your project; however, not all items on the Building Permit form may be applicable. The owner/owner's name and address and the name and address of a contact person are of utmost importance. Asking for the name and address of an architect and engineer is not to imply that an architect and engineer are required. If one or both are part of the construction design, we ask that their name and address be provided.
Plan review/inspection fees are identified in the fee schedule (PDF). Permit fees can be paid by check payable to the City of Newport, or by cash in person.
There are certain aspects of building construction that are required to be performed by a licensed contractor. All persons performing work within the City of Newport shall first obtain a city occupational license. All electrical, HVAC, mechanical, and plumbing work must be performed by State Licensed Contractors.
There are some exceptions to these requirements for Homeowner Occupied properties; please contact Code Enforcement for further details. 859-292-3637
KRS 322 and KRS 323 identify when the services of a design professional are required to prepare a set of construction drawings. Table 122.1 of the 2013 Kentucky Building Code is intended to explain when a design professional is required based on the occupancy classification of a building and the building occupant load and/or building area.
Contact Code Enforcement at 859-292-3637 if you have further questions.
If your construction project falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Newport, your plans and Building Permit application form will need to be submitted to Code Enforcement online here or at998 Monmouth StreetNewport, KY 41071
The Division of Code Enforcement does not have an expedited permit service. Applications are reviewed in the order in which received. 1 and 2 Family are typically reviewed for code compliance within 14 days. Commercial projects vary depending on the size of the project.
No. The Fire Marshal's Office is not responsible for the review or inspection of new structures, renovations, additions, or change of occupancy construction projects.
Residents and property owners of the East Row, York Street, and Monmouth Street Historic Districts are required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) for any exterior alterations on their property prior to the commencement of the work. This would include, but is not limited to:
If you have questions please feel free to contact Historic Preservation at 859-655-6347.
There is no charge for Certificates of Appropriateness, however, should your project require approval from the Historic Preservation Commission, there is a $75 fee to apply to that Board.
Applications for Certificates of Appropriateness are usually reviewed within 14 days of receipt. Should your project require approval from the Historic Preservation Commission the time frame can be substantially longer.
If you have questions please feel free to contact Historic Preservation at 859-655-6347.
Any time a structure is erected, moved, added to, structurally altered, or changed from one use to another, or when grading takes place on any lot or parcel of ground. Examples of typical zoning permits issued are for fences, decks, sheds, additions, new buildings, signs, and placement of concrete.
The Zoning Permit application is available online via the Citizen Portal.
If you have any questions please call Development Services at 859-292-3637.
The City's Zoning Administrator issues all approvals for zoning permits in the City of Newport. Some more complicated projects may need approval from the Board of Adjustments or the Planning and Zoning Commission prior to the issuance of a Zoning Permit.
If you have questions about obtaining a permit or applying to one of the Boards, please contact Development Services at 859-292-3637.
Generally, applications for zoning permits will be reviewed within 14 days of receipt. Should your project require approval from the Board of Adjustments or Planning and Zoning Commission, the time frame can be substantially longer.
Please contact Development Services at 859-292-3637 for any questions.
The fees for zoning permits and applications of the Board of Adjustment and Planning Commission are set in the attached fee schedule (PDF). If you have any questions please feel free to contact Development Services at 859-292-3637.
The Newport Fire/EMS Department is a municipally operated fire department that provides both fire and EMS services to the citizens of Newport. Today, our staff consists of a fire chief, an assistant fire chief, an administrative assistant, and 36 career personnel, who staff 3 shifts with 12 personnel per shift.
The Newport Fire/EMS Department has served the ever-growing City of Newport since 1854 when the first volunteer fire company was established through incorporation. The Fire Department has been an all career department since 1868 when the City of Newport passed an ordinance that created the first steam fire engine company.
Newport Fire/EMS operates out of two stations within the city.
Our stations are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Newport, Kentucky is a small riverfront community consisting of 7,828 homes with an approximate residential population of 17,048. There are 752 businesses that operate within the 3.5 square miles that the city occupies. Newport also provides fire protection to the neighboring city of Woodlawn, Kentucky.
Newport is bordered by the cities of: Bellevue, Covington, Dayton, Ft. Thomas, Southgate, Wilder, Woodlawn, and Cincinnati (Ohio). Newport Fire/EMS is a member of the Northern Kentucky Mutual Aid Contract providing additional resources to these surrounding cities when necessary.
In our primary response area, there are:
Within the City are three major tourist attractions located in the city which together attract over 3 million people annually:
Riverboat is home to South Shore, a 22-story luxury condo complex and Vue 180, a luxury apartment complex. Newport Pavilion is a full operation with a variety of stores to choose from including:
Newport is also the home to New Rift Distilling a new Kentucky bourbon producer established in 2014. Recently completed projects include the new Hampton Inn and Aloft hotels as well as a new luxury apartment complex called Aqua.
You need a building permit for all construction that involves the construction, repair, movement to another site, removal, or demolition of any building or structure. All electrical, plumbing and mechanical work needs a separate permit for each trade. The price of the permit is calculated using the cost of the construction. View our Permits, Applications and Procedures.
Work on a project may not legally begin before a permit is obtained and on the work site.
Water heater applications are processed at the counter.
If you receive a parking citation in the City of Newport, you may pay the fee by mail or in person at the Police Department.
If not paid within 7 days, the fee increases by $10. If not paid within 20 working days, the fine will increase by another $10. If you wish to contest a ticket you must do so in writing and within seven days of receiving the citation.
Most parking fines are $25. Citations for parking in a fire lane, near a fire hydrant, or in a reserved handicapped space without a permit are $30.
To contest a ticket, a written request must be submitted in person to the Newport Police Department Traffic Section located at 998 Monmouth Street, Newport, KY 41071, phone 859-292-3680 within seven (7) days of the date of citation. A citation shall be deemed final if not paid or contested within those seven (7) days. Absent payment or contest, all citations shall increase an additional $10.00 after seven (7) days and an additional $10.00 after thirty (30) days. Failure to pay or contest a citation may result in the impoundment of the vehicle upon which the citation has been issued. The registered owner shall be liable for all fines, towing, and storage fees.
To pay by mail:City of Newport Police DepartmentTraffic SectionP.O. Box 1090Newport, KY 41071
Police reports must be picked up in person with a photo ID. Please allow five business days for processing, and then you may pick up a copy of the police report during regular office hours (Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4:30 pm) at the Newport Police Department. Non-collision police reports may be released only to those listed on the report unless otherwise permitted according to the Kentucky Open Records Act. If requesting a non-collision report you are not listed on, you may fill out an open records request to determine eligibility.
If you live in a neighborhood where parking is restricted for residents, you will need to obtain a parking permit from the Police Department. Permits are issued during regular business hours; you will need a copy of your vehicle registration.
The vehicle must be registered to your address, and be prepared to show a copy of your current registration and driver’s license. In cases of a company car not registered to you, a letter from your employer will be required. Please call the office at 859-292-3680 for specific requirements.
View the Application for Accessible Parking Request (PDF).
Accessible parking places may be reserved for persons with disabilities. To request that a sign be placed near the entrance to your residence, the police department will need to review the request which should include a copy of your accessible registration (or license plate) you were issued. Please call the office at 859-292-3680 for the signage fee and any additional questions.
If you wish to place a storage pod on your property in preparation for moving or if you wish to have parking reserved for moving trucks, please contact the Police Department no less than 24 hours in advance to get permission. Call 859-292-3680.
If you or a vehicle you own was involved in a collision in Newport, please allow five business days for processing and then you may pick up a copy of the collision report during regular office hours (Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4:30 pm) at the Police Department.
You may also get copies of collision reports online through BuyCrash.
Insurance companies may send in requests for reports along with a self-addressed envelope and the fee of $5 per copy to the Newport Police Department, located at:998 Monmouth StreetNewport, KY, 41071
The Newport Police Department does not perform background checks. Instructions for having a background check done are available through the Kentucky State Police.
The Newport Police Department does not perform fingerprinting services. Instructions for having fingerprints taken are available through the Kentucky State Police.
If you would like for the police to help keep watch on your house while you are on vacation or away for an extended period on business, request a vacation house check.
Simply fill out a form (PDF) and provide as much information as possible and the patrol officers will make an extra effort to keep an eye on your home while you are away. It is helpful to list the dates you will leave and return, in what areas of the house or what outside lights you will leave on or have on timers, a mobile phone number or the number where you will be staying, what cars will be left in the driveway, details of anyone that will be entering the home while you are gone (such as someone tending your pets or doing repair work), and if you have had a recent break in or have specific cause for concern. If you have an alarm company, you may wish to notify them that you will be out of town. Remember to place a hold on your mail and newspaper deliveries while you are away or ask a trusted neighbor you know well to collect and hold your mail until you return.
View the Vacation House Check Request form (PDF). You may also pick up a copy of the vacation check form during regular office hours (Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4:30 pm) at the Police Department.
To claim your property, you will need to make an appointment with Sergeant Brian Waldorf at 859-292-3622. You will also need to provide proof of ownership and have a photo ID. The property will be disposed of according to Kentucky Revised Statutes if not claimed.
Every year the City Commission adopts a Budget for the next fiscal year (the City's fiscal year runs from July 1 of one year through June 30 of the next year). The Budget is the City's business and financial plan for the year.
The Budget has two purposes. The purposes are (1) to set goals, objectives, and service levels for the City to meet during the next year, insuring the provision of City services to Newport residents, and (2) to estimate and allocate the money the City will take in and spend during the year.
Revenue can fluctuate substantially within a given year or from year to year. There are very few sources of income over which the City has direct control. For example, the City has no control over property tax revenue; it can fluctuate depending on the number of homes sold in the community and the amount of building activity. The level of building activity also impacts other sources of revenue such as building permit fees. The City's largest amount of tax revenue is generated from the payroll at local businesses. These are revenues that have a somewhat direct relationship with the general state of our economy, or, in the case of occupational fees, the number of good paying jobs available in the community.
The City has a little more certainty and control over how much money is spent, but even that has some impacts and restrictions that reduce flexibility. The federal government and state government dictates additional expenses, such as Medicare contributions and required methods of compensating for overtime mandated by federal law. In addition, the City does not, in most cases, have the ability to stop doing things simply because it lacks the income. Police and fire protection are good examples. Even if revenue decreases substantially, the City still needs to staff fire stations and provide a minimum level of police patrol services.
It is important to remember that the numbers in the budget are estimates. Many things happen during the year that impact our income and spending. Revenues are estimated realistically to insure that there are adequate funds to meet needs. The City works to maintain adequate reserves to protect from future unknowns.
The City's Budget is financed by the use of different "funds." A fund can be thought of as a separate bank account used for specific purposes. These funds can be views independently through the OpenGov site.
The General Fund is the City's main operating fund used to pay for traditional City services such as police and fire protection, administration, and street maintenance. These activities utilize most tax dollars, such as property tax and occupational/ gross receipt fees, but are also supported by licenses and permits, user fees, and investment earnings. Some activities in the General Fund, such as building inspection or photo copying, are intended to be substantially self-supporting through fees for services provided and charged to individuals or businesses.
Another major group of City funds are called Enterprise Funds, used to account for specific services funded directly by fees and charges to users. In Newport, these funds are represented by the refuse and Newport on the Levee (garage) funds. The intent is that the funds be completely self- supporting and not be subsidized by general revenue or taxes. These funds are accounted for as if each activity were a separate, independent non-profit business of the City.
The City also maintains a Capital Projects Fund used to fund capital improvements. A capital improvement is usually a large construction project such as reconstruction of a roadway, the development of parkland, or the construction of a building.
Finally, the City maintains Debt Service, Special Revenue, Internal Service and Fiduciary Funds.
City accounts are organized and operated on the basis of funds and account groups. A fund is an independent fiscal and accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts. Governmental fund financial statements are reported using the current financial resources measurement focus and modified accrual basis of accounting,
Fund accounting segregates funds according to the intended purpose and is used to aid management in demonstrating compliance with finance-related legal and contractual provisions.
The City maintains a minimum number of funds consistent with legal and managerial requirements. Account groups are a reporting device to account for certain assets and liabilities of governmental funds not recorded directly in those funds. Major funds are designated; all funds are described.
A public tree is any tree located in the right-of-way (street trees) or on other public lands (city buildings, parks, etc.). These trees are managed by the City of Newport. Most street trees are located in the area between the sidewalk and the street, called a "tree lawn" or "tree well" as shown in the following images.
All street trees and trees in parks are controlled and managed by the City of Newport, specifically through the Community Services Division of the city. For this reason, no cutting, removal, or other alterations or damage to a public tree or its roots is allowed without prior permission from the city. Failure to obtain permission carries fines, as defined in the City Tree Ordinance - Chapter 94 Trees.
Fines include both a 1) fine for failure to obtain prior permission ($200 per instance), and 2) compensation for the loss of that city tree/asset (assessed at $250 per inch of trunk diameter). This can add up to substantial fines for illegal damage or removal of a public tree because they are so important to the health and vibrancy of our city, and once replaced, regrowth can take decades.
Example: A 10-inch DBH (trunk diameter at breast height) tree removed illegally (without prior permission) would incur a $200 fine plus a compensation payment for the loss of a city asset in the amount of $2,700 ($250 times 10-inch diameter).
Occasionally, street trees require pruning to remove dead limbs, alleviate clearance issues for people or cars, and to keep branches from reaching nearby buildings. If you think your street tree needs to be pruned, you can email the City to have the tree looked at by our contract arborist. Once the City's contract arborist assesses the tree, a determination can be made on the hazard and safety situation. Then:
A quick primer on how we care for our trees: City tree pruning is implemented based on 1) a proactive cyclical care system recommended in national best management practices in urban forestry and 2) best and most efficient use of available funding. Here's how it works.
The City is divided into 10 management zones, shown in the following map. Each year, the trees in one zone are re-inventoried and then later each tree is proactively pruned. This proactive care system is a national standard which is proven to ensure healthier trees that last long term, as well as contribute to fewer tree failures in storms. The schedule/order of zone work follows, though is subject to changes based on available funding:
In addition to this annual cyclical care work, we are also pruning for safety hazards throughout the city throughout every year.
The City of Newport is currently using its available funds for management and proactive care of our existing trees. For this reason, there is not a public tree planting program run by the City. However, there are a couple options for those interested in having a street tree in front of their property:
No matter which option, there are some parameters to ensure the right tree gets planted in the right space:
If you just got a new street tree, there are a few things you can do to give it its best chance to thrive and grow into an asset for your property and the neighborhood:
Learn more about new tree care on the Arbor Day Foundation's "Tree Planting and Care" page.
If you are concerned that there is something wrong with your street tree, email the City. Our City Arborist will check your tree and determine if any steps can be taken to address any problems.
In the City of Newport, sidewalk management and repair is the responsibility of the adjacent homeowner. The City also recognizes that there are some residents who lament the presence of urban trees, due to the potential for sidewalk damage. However, trees have been proven to be critical to our vibrant community because of the benefits in air quality, public health, and property value boost they provide. For these reasons, the City of Newport works diligently to balance the needs of the community across all these topics.
If you have a buckling sidewalk from tree roots, please note that cutting large roots to allow for sidewalk is not permitted, as it can reduce the stability (and thus safety) of a tree.
Consider replacing the sidewalk with a curved edge to make more room for the tree and all the benefits it provides.
If large roots are in place, the city arborist can work with your sidewalk contractor to ensure any construction will not cause the tree to become unstable (root cutting), while ensuring the sidewalk is replaced properly.
The following are curved alternatives to help address sidewalk/tree conflicts.
The following is an example of root cuts in a sidewalk repair. This is not permitted. This tree would be considered structurally unstable and unsafe.
Maintenance of space in the tree lawns or tree wells (space between the sidewalk and the street) beyond the tree itself is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. Per the Tree Ordinance, plantings are allowed in this area as long as they are below 12 inches in height (grass, groundcover, mulch, etc.). Any plantings beyond trees in this space that is above 12 inches in height or that will cause trip hazards. (i.e. boulders, signs) is prohibited per the ordinance. The main reason for this restriction is to ensure easy access to and from parked cars as well as ensure safety for the public.
The short answer is that tree pruning is a necessary maintenance task Duke performs to keep lines safe and power outages to our homes and businesses to a minimum. If a large tree is planted under a utility line, it must be pruned to protect the utilities and prevent local outages. This is why it is so important to plant the right tree in the right place (as described in FAQ 4). Read more about Tree Pruning by Duke Energy (PDF).
As already stated above, street trees are owned by the City and cannot be removed without a permit. The City's overarching policy regarding tree removal is that no healthy tree is to be removed in effort to reach our goals described above. This is one of the reasons we have such heavily tree lined streets in some of our neighborhoods currently. For this reason, in most cases, permission will not be granted to remove a healthy tree as we work toward our goals stated above. We ask that you consider your request carefully and weigh the cost of removal and replacement, the time it will take to regrow (decades) and the loss of services that tree provides to the community (clean air, temperature reduction in the summer, better public health, interception of stormwater that reduces instances of flooding and water pollution and more.
That being said, the City receives requests for removal and or replacement for multiple reasons. Examples of these reasons, and the City's policy in each case are as follows:
No. Trees on your private property are yours to maintain as you choose. If you have questions about any trees on your private property, please contact a local Certified Arborist for a consultation.