Fayette County

Lexington residents can weigh in Tuesday on Fayette County’s future growth

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Fayette County residents will have another opportunity Tuesday to weigh in on how the city of Lexington should grow in coming years.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council will host a pubic hearing beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Lexington Government Center on the goals and objectives of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan.

The council has spent the past several weeks debating parts of those goals, which include not expanding the current growth boundary. The last time that growth boundary was expanded was in 1996.

The goals and objectives stress affordable housing and more diverse housing choices and also emphasize infill and redevelopment.

Tuesday’s public hearing is just the latest in a series of public hearings and meetings over the past several months about the document that will guide growth for the next five years.

The Urban County Planning Commission voted 7-4 in September to approve the draft goals and objectives that included keeping the current growth boundary. Some commission members who voted against said there was too little land available inside the current growth boundary for commercial development or single-family homes.

Members of the business community and many developers told the planning commission at a public hearing Aug. 31 that Lexington is already losing prospective businesses because there is not enough shovel-ready land in Lexington.

Meanwhile, farming preservation and neighborhood groups argued Fayette County has thousands of available acres for development. That land needs to be developed before the county considers opening more land for development, they said.

A special committee of the council — which includes the entire 15-member council — has made some minor changes to some of the language of the goals and objectives over the past several weeks. The council committee will meet again Tuesday morning to discuss a final but controversial aspect of the goals and objectives.

That recommendation would change the way Lexington plans for future expansion after 2022, when the 2018 comprehensive plan expires. It includes a study to identify rural areas the county wants to protect over the long-term from future development. Land not identified for the rural land preserve could be considered for development, but only after certain thresholds or triggers are met. Those thresholds and triggers would be defined by the study.

The council is expected to vote in coming weeks on a final draft of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan. The council has the final say on the growth plan.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall

If you go:

What: Public hearing on the 2018 Comprehensive Plan

When: 5 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Lexington Government Center, council chambers on the second floor, 200 E. Main St.

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