The Lexington council is expected to vote Tuesday on a zone change for a controversial development that includes hundreds of homes, apartments, townhomes and a middle school off Squires Road.
The Urban County Planning Commission voted 8-1 on Jan. 26 to approve a zone change for 90 acres at 478 and 480 Squires Road from agricultural urban to high-density residential. The Ball Homes development, called the Peninsula, is bordered on three sides by Kentucky American Reservoir No. 4, sometimes called Lake Ellerslie.
The proposed development has drawn the ire of neighbors and environmentalists who say it is too much for an environmentally sensitive area and will cause traffic headaches, particularly on Squires Road. More than 200 people attended the January planning commission meeting. More than 750 people wrote letters opposing the development.
Nick Nicholson, a lawyer who represents Ball Homes, said Friday no changes have been made to proposed development plan since the January meeting. The plans call for 162 homes, 308 apartments, 31 town homes and a possible Fayette County middle school. Fayette County schools have looked for years for a site for a new middle school in the area of Squires Road, which connects Richmond Road and Alumni Drive in southeast Lexington.
The city planning staff recommended approval of the zone change at the late January planning commission. Neighbors had asked the planning commission to consider decreasing the number of homes and multi-family complexes on the site and increasing the buffer between the homes and the water to 100 feet. The commission ultimately decided not to decrease the density of homes on the site and stuck with staff’s recommendation of a 75-foot buffer. About 75 homes would back up to the water.
Both Ball Homes and Fayette County schools have options to purchase the land from Kentucky American Water. The hearing on the zone change before the Urban County Council will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Lexington Government Center at 200 E. Main Street.