Purchase of Development Rights

Purchase of Development Rights, or PDR as it is more commonly known, is Kentucky's first Agricultural Conservation Easement program facilitated by a local government.

Through PDR the city purchases farm owners’ development rights (their right to ever develop the farm commercially), thereby preserving it as farmland forever.

This program is important to Lexington and Fayette County because of the area's booming equine, cattle and tourism industry, which is all fueled by the area farmland's beauty and high-quality soils.

How many farms are in PDR?

There are 277 farms permanently protected by PDR, totaling nearly 30,395 acres.

Map of preserved land

How is PDR governed?

PDR is governed by the Rural Land Management Board. The members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Urban County Council.

List of members

The members use Ordinance 4-2000 as their guide.

Ordinance

By-laws

2020 meeting schedule

All meetings will be held at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of the Government Center, 200 E. Main St., Lexington Ky. (unless otherwise noted)  

Jan. 29
Feb. 26 – 3:30 p.m.
March 25 – canceled
April 29 – canceled
May 27 – canceled
June 24 – Zoom
July 29 – Zoom
Aug. 26 – canceled
Sept. 2 – Special meeting
Sept. 30
Oct. 28
Nov. 18
Dec. 16

Previous years' minutes (The previous years' minutes are stored on a Google drive, arranged by year.)

How do I apply to PDR?

Applications are accepted annually during a specified period and are current closed. Read this information sheet and contact Beth Overman at eoverman@lexingtonky.gov if you have any questions. 

Though the 2020 application deadline has passed, we are happy to speak with you anytime about applying to PDR and help you prepare for the 2021 application cycle. 

How do I add housing or infrastructure to my PDR farm?

The PDR easement requires landowners to obtain the permission of the Rural Land Management Board before adding new housing or expanding existing housing, and before adding paving. If your farm was eased in 2007 or after, it likely includes an impervious surface limit, so adding farm infrastructure such as barns, equipment sheds, etc., also requires approval. We want your farm to flourish and will guide you through this process.  The first step is to complete the form below and send it via email or mail to the PDR Director, Beth Overman. Your request will be reviewed and you will be notified whether your request requires approval by the board or can be determined at the staff level. If Board approval is required, your application will be considered at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

Request form

Rural Land Management Board committees

The Rural Land Management Board has one standing committee, Education and Outreach, and as of January 30, 2019, has appointed three ad hoc committees: Budget and Finance, Long-Term Planning/Ordinance Review, and Applications and Recruitment. The meeting dates for the committees will be posted below and all will be held in the PDR Office on the 5th Floor of the Phoenix Building:

Education & Outreach Committee

Budget & Finance Committee

Applications & Donations Committee 

Long Range Planning/Ordinance Review Committee
Jan. 22, 2020, 3 p.m.
March 9, 2020, 4 p.m.
April 22, 2020, 4 p.m. – Canceled
May 20, 2020, 4 p.m. – Canceled

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