The landmark US Supreme Court case Village of Euclid Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926) paved the way for comprehensive zoning regulations throughout the country. The court held that zoning ordinances were a “valid exercise of constitutional police power.” Planning and zoning in Maysville dates back to the late 1950’s, when in 1958 the Maysville Zoning and Planning Commission conducted its first meeting. This commission was initially composed of 7 members that included elected officials and citizens. A 5-member Maysville Zoning and Adjustment Commission was also established. Subdivision regulations were adopted in 1961 and were in effect in the City and five miles beyond the City territorial limits. From 1965-1969, a court order required the City to diminish these regulations beyond the City limits, although they were re-established until 1982 when the Mason County Fiscal Court adopted them as well.
In 1966, following progressive legislation by the Kentucky State Legislature overhauling Kentucky Revised Statute 100; a full citizen appointed commission was established by the City of Maysville. In 1971, the Mason County Joint Planning Commission was created with the addition of the Mason County Fiscal Court and City of Washington; although, Maysville was the only jurisdiction to enforce zoning regulations.
In 1988 and 1990, the Architectural Review Boards were established for Maysville and Washington respectively. In 1996, the boards were combined to create the Maysville/Washington Board of Architectural Review.
In 2002, zoning regulations were adopted by the Mason County Fiscal Court ultimately creating a comprehensive Joint Planning Commission, as well as a county Board of Adjustment.
Comprehensive planning and zoning regulations are enabled by Kentucky Revised Statute chapter 100. The City of Maysville has utilized these tools since 1958 to plan for and integrate developments throughout. The most important document is the comprehensive plan which guides all future planning and land use decisions. This document must be reviewed and re-adopted at least once every 5 years by the planning commission. If there are changes proposed to the goals and objectives, the City and County must approve them before the document is official.
The Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO) and Map are joint ordinances utilized by both governments. The maps, one for the City and one for the County, divide all land into zones: residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural. The ordinance details allowable uses in each zone, minimum lot size requirements, sign regulations, map and text amendment procedures, as well as regulations for the Boards of Adjustment and Board of Architectural Review.
The Subdivision Regulations are a specific guide for development procedures. They detail how land can be divided, and what measures must be considered during development, i.e. utilities and road construction, stormwater regulations, etc.