The Lexington council gave final approval Thursday for a zone change for a 61-unit affordable housing development for seniors on Antique Drive.
The AU Associates two-story development will be directly behind the Meadowthorpe Antique Mall on Leestown Road
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve the zone change from a neighborhood business to a high-density apartment zone. The Urban County Planning Commission approved the zone change at an Aug. 24 meeting.
No one opposed the zone change at Thursday’s council meeting or at the August planning commission meeting.
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AU Associates is using affordable housing funding from various sources. A timeline for construction has not yet been set.
Also on Thursday, the council delayed taking any action on a resolution that would transfer ownership of the Jefferson Street bridge from the state to the city’s control.
The city wants the bridge so it can demolish it and make room for a proposed expansion of the Lexington Convention Center and a nearly 10-acre private park adjacent to the Rupp Arena and convention center complex.
State transportation officials told the city it could have the state-owned bridge but only if it agreed to swap other city streets for some state-owned streets. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials have said once the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council approves the land swap, it should only take a few weeks for the transfer from the state to the city to happen.
In addition to the Jefferson Street bridge, the city will assume control of several state roads including sections of Manchester, South Upper, Tates Creek, Euclid and West High and West Maxwell streets.
In exchange, the state will get portions of Citation Boulevard between Leestown Road and Newtown Pike; Virginia Avenue from South Limestone to South Broadway; and Cooper Drive between Tates Creek Road and South Limestone.
The bridge must come down to make room for an expansion of the Lexington Convention Center, which will likely begin sometime in 2018. Also planned for that area is the Town Branch Park. Removing the bridge will allow for a Main Street entrance into the Town Branch Park. But elders with the Main Street Baptist Church have said they would like to use that same entrance for parking. Main Street Baptist has buildings on both sides of the Jefferson Street bridge.
The church’s congregation has used the parking lot under the Jefferson Street bridge for decades through an agreement with the city. That parking lot will be removed during the expansion of the convention center and the building of the proposed Town Branch Park.
Councilman James Brown made the motion to postpone the vote on the road swap with the state so negotiations with the church can continue. Other council members argued Thursday the city can not negotiate with the church until it owns the land the Jefferson Street bridge is on. Ultimately the council voted to postpone a first vote on the issue until next month.