The Urban County Planning Commission approved a zone change Thursday that some hope will jump-start commercial development along Citation Boulevard in northwest Lexington.
The commission voted Thursday to change the zoning for 10 acres at 1201 Greendale Road for a new shopping center that could include restaurants, a convenience store, bank and other retail. The area is surrounded by neighborhoods, including nearby Masterson Station. It is currently vacant land.
Dick Murphy, a lawyer who represents Greendale Properties, said the Citation Boulevard area is booming with new homes, but there are few restaurants or shops in the area between Georgetown Road and Leestown Road. Many people must drive to shopping centers that are inside New Circle Road along Leestown to get groceries or buy gas.
“We are not served by any commercial development in that area,” Murphy said.
Murphy told the commission the zone change was needed so Greendale Properties could market the property for potential commercial development.
In 2001, when the 10 acres was changed to a business zone, a restriction was placed on the property that required a residential component — such as apartments — to any commercial development of the land. That didn’t work and the property was not developed, Murphy said.
By changing the land’s zoning from a neighborhood business to a planned shopping center, the 2001 zoning restriction would be scrapped.
“It’s been zoned since 2001 and has not been developed,” Murphy said. “We needed a clean slate.”
Jacob Walbourn, who represents neighbors adjacent to the site, said his clients requested that some businesses or uses not be allowed, including laundromats, tattoo parlors or car washes. Greendale Properties agreed to those restrictions.
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council must approve the zone change before it is final.