The public got its first in-person look Tuesday night at a draft of a comprehensive plan that will guide development in Lexington and Fayette County for the next five years.
The comprehensive plan includes a host of recommendations on land use, retaining and attracting jobs, building better neighborhoods and protecting the environment.
Jim Duncan, long-term planning manager for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, told a group of more than 25 citizens that the thorniest part of the comprehensive plan — whether to expand the city's urban service area — has already been decided by the planning commission and the Urban County Council.
Because the urban service area will not be expanded, the challenge in coming years will be how to grow within the current urban service boundaries, which have not been expanded since 1996.
Fayette County population increased 14 percent from 2000 to 2010. Projections show continued population growth, Duncan said.
Tuesday's meeting at the Senior Center on Nicholasville Road was the first of two public input meetings on the comprehensive plan this week. The second meeting will be 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lexington Public Library's Village Branch.
On Tuesday night, people were invited to view the recommendations and make comments at various stations that included key themes such as protecting the environment and building stronger neighborhoods .
Jared Forte, assistant general manager of Lextran, said the public transportation authority had recommended some goals for the comprehensive plan, such as increased mobility and better pedestrian access in neighborhoods.
"We're just happy right now that those comments were included," Forte said after seeing the recommendations.
There were more than 30 public meetings about the comprehensive plan before the draft was released for input, planning staff said Tuesday.
There will be a public meeting before the planning commission takes a final vote on the five-year plan later this year.