To ensure that the urban growth boundary policies and other long-range planning issues address the expected needs for new urban development and contribute to the prosperity of Lexington-Fayette County, these goals and objectives have been drafted based upon the projected community needs of today with the confidence that they will continue to be reviewed and revised as necessary on the five-year review cycle mandated by state statute. Anytime in the interim, the Planning Commission may recommend that Council amend the Goals and Objectives, and any recommendation shall be presented for consideration, amendment, and adoption by the Council.
The 2018 Comprehensive Plan, Imagine Lexington, seeks to provide flexible yet focused planning guidance to ensure equitable development of our community’s resources and infrastructure that enhances our quality of life, and fosters regional planning and economic development. This will be accomplished while protecting the environment, promoting successful, accessible neighborhoods, and preserving the unique Bluegrass landscape that has made Lexington-Fayette County the Horse Capital of the World.
THEME A: Growing successful neighborhoods
Goal 1: Expand housing choices.
- Pursue incentives and regulatory approaches that encourage creativity and sustainability in housing development.
- Accommodate the demand for housing in Lexington responsibly, prioritizing higher-density and mixture of housing types.
- Plan for safe, affordable and accessible housing to meet the needs of older and/or disadvantaged residents.
- Create and implement housing incentives that strengthen the opportunities for higher-density and housing affordability.
Goal 2: Support infill and redevelopment throughout the Urban Service Area as a strategic component of growth.
- Identify areas of opportunity for infill, redevelopment, adaptive reuse, and mixed-use development.
- Respect the context and design features of areas surrounding development projects and develop design standards and guidelines to ensure compatibility with existing urban form.
- Incorporate adequate greenspace and open space into all development projects, which serve the needs of the intended population.
- Implement innovative programs, such as the public infrastructure fund and land bank programs, to facilitate sustainable development, including, but not limited to, housing, affordable at all income levels, and commercial and economic activity.
- Create materials that educate the public about infill and redevelopment.
Goal 3: Provide well-designed neighborhoods and communities.
- Enable existing and new neighborhoods to flourish through improved regulation, expanded opportunities for neighborhood character preservation, and public commitment to expand options for mixed-use and mixed-type housing throughout Lexington-Fayette County
- Strive for positive and safe social interactions in neighborhoods, including, but not limited to, neighborhoods that are connected for pedestrians and various modes of transportation.
- Minimize disruption of natural features when building new communities.
- Promote, maintain, and expand the urban forest throughout Lexington.
Goal 4: Address community facilities at a neighborhood scale.
- Incorporate schools, libraries, and other community-focused educational institutions into neighborhoods in order to maximize safe routes for all pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Plan for equitable and accessible social services and healthcare facilities that address the needs of all residents, maximizing the opportunity to reach geographically underserved areas throughout the community.
- Establish and promote road network connections in order to reduce police, EMS, and fire response times.
THEME B: Protecting the environment
Goal 1: Continue to implement the Consent Decree, including the capacity assurance program, as directed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Goal 2: Reduce Lexington-Fayette County’s carbon footprint.
- Continue programs and initiatives to improve energy efficiency.
- Anticipate the community’s needs by encouraging environmentally sustainable uses of natural resources.
- Provide incentives for green building, sustainable development, and transit-oriented development with civic agencies leading by example through the use of green building standards.
- Prioritize multi-modal options that de-emphasize single-occupancy vehicle dependence.
Goal 3: Apply environmentally sustainable practices to protect, conserve and restore landscapes and natural resources.
- Support the funding, planning and management of a green infrastructure program.
- Identify and protect natural resources and landscapes before development occurs.
- Incorporate green infrastructure principles in new plans and policies, including, but not limited to, land use and transportation.
- Coordinate interrelated planning, programs and activities that impact the protection, conservation and restoration of landscapes and natural resources.
THEME C: Creating jobs & prosperity
Goal 1: Support and showcase local assets to further the creation of a variety of jobs.
- Strengthen efforts to develop a variety of job opportunities that lead to prosperity for all.
- Strengthen regulations and policies that propel the agricultural economy, including, but not limited to, local food production and distribution, agritourism and the equine industry that showcase Lexington-Fayette County as the Horse Capital of the World.
- Collaborate with institutions of higher learning to foster a capable and skilled workforce while engaging agencies that address the lack of prosperity for residents by reducing joblessness.
- Encourage development that promotes and enhances tourism.
- Encourage developers of government-funded or subsidized projects to employ residents in the vicinity.
Goal 2: Attract the world’s finest jobs, encourage an entrepreneurial spirit, and enhance our ability to recruit and retain a talented, creative workforce by establishing opportunities that embrace diversity with inclusion in our community.
- Prioritize the success and growth of strategically-targeted employment sectors (healthcare, education, high-tech, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, agritourism, and the like), and enable infill and redevelopment that creates jobs where people live.
- Improve opportunities for small business development and workers who rely on personal technology.
- Review and improve regulations and policies that attract and retain high paying jobs through close collaboration with agencies that focus on economic development.
- Provide entertainment and other quality of life opportunities that attract young, and culturally diverse professionals, and a work force of all ages and talents to Lexington.
Goal 3: Identify, provide and sustain readily available publicly-controlled economic development land to meet Fayette County’s need for jobs, amending the Comprehensive Plan as necessary to ensure it remains an up-to-date and workable framework for economic development.
THEME D: Improving a desirable community
Goal 1: Work to achieve an effective and comprehensive transportation system.
- Support the Complete Streets concept, prioritizing a pedestrian-first design that also accommodates the needs of bicycle, transit and other vehicles.
- Develop a viable network of accessible transportation alternatives for residents and commuters, which may include the use of mass transit, bicycles, walkways, ridesharing, greenways and other strategies.
- Concentrate efforts to enhance mass transit along our corridors in order to facilitate better service for our growing population, as well as efficiencies in our transit system.
- Improve traffic operation strategies.
Goal 2: Support a model of development that focuses on people-first to provide accessible community facilities and services to meet the health, safety and quality of life needs of Lexington-Fayette County’s residents and visitors.
- Encourage public safety and social sustainability by supporting Secured-by-Design concepts and other policies and programs for the built and natural environments of neighborhoods to help reduce opportunities for crimes.
- Collaborate with educational and healthcare entities to meet the needs of Lexington-Fayette County’s residents and visitors.
- Collaborate with service providers about how their community facilities should enhance existing neighborhoods.
Goal 3: Protect and enhance the natural and cultural landscapes that give Lexington-Fayette County its unique identity and image.
- Protect historic resources and archaeological sites.
- Incentivize the renovation, restoration, development and maintenance of historic residential and commercial structures.
- Develop incentives to retain, restore, preserve and continue use of historic site and structures, rural settlements and urban and rural neighborhoods.
Goal 4: Promote, support, encourage and provide incentives for public art.
THEME E: Maintaining a balance between planning for urban uses & safeguarding rural land
Goal 1: Uphold the Urban Service Area concept.
- Continue to monitor the absorption of vacant and underutilized land within the Urban Service Area.
- Ensure all types of development are environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable to accommodate the future growth needs of all residents while safeguarding rural land.
- Emphasize redevelopment of underutilized corridors.
- Maximize development on vacant land within the Urban Service Area and promote redevelopment of underutilized land in a manner that enhances existing urban form and/or historic features.
- Pursue strategies to activate large undeveloped landholdings within the Urban Service Area.
Goal 2: Support the agricultural economy, horse farms, general agricultural farms and the rural character of the Rural Service Area.
- Protect and enhance the natural, cultural, historic and environmental resources of Lexington-Fayette County’s Rural Service Area and Bluegrass farmland to help promote the general agricultural brand and ensure Lexington-Fayette County remains the Horse Capital of the World.
- Support the Purchase of Development Rights and private sector farmland conservation programs to protect, preserve and enhance our signature agricultural industries, historic structures, cultural landscapes, natural environments and community welfare.
Goal 3: Maintain the current boundaries of the Urban Service Area and Rural Activity Centers; and create no new Rural Activity Centers. To ensure Lexington is responsive to its future land use needs, this Goal shall be superseded and no longer in effect upon completion of Theme E, Goal 4, Objective D.
Goal 4: Protect Lexington’s invaluable rural resources and inform long-range planning for infrastructure, community facilities and economic development through the creation of a new process for determining long-term land use decisions involving the Urban Service Boundary and Rural Activity Centers.
- Establish the process via a study, involving diverse stakeholders and constituents, that meets the projected needs of the agricultural and development communities, by preserving key agricultural resources from development pressures and identifying land for future urban development.
- Ensure the study designates rural land for long-term preservation, identifies land for potential future urban development and specifies triggers, thresholds and timing for the addition of the identified urban land into the Urban Service Boundary, keeping infill and land use efficiency as the continued primary objectives.
- Complete the study with the assistance of a consultant by July 1, 2020.
- Implement the process resulting from the study as an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, superseding Theme E, Goal 3 at time of adoption by the Planning Commission.
THEME F: Implementing the plan for Lexington-Fayette County & the bluegrass
Goal 1: Engage and educate the residents of Lexington-Fayette County in the planning process.
- Pursue all venue of communication, including, but not limited to, electronic and social media to involve residents.
- Establish early and continuous communication with residents.
- Develop a network of diverse contacts and a means to engage them.
- Build on the On the Table initiative and continue to engage in partnerships with community organizations to reach underrepresented populations.
Goal 2: Implement the 2018 Comprehensive Plan.
- Establish a continually updated series of metrics to mark progress implementing the 2018 Comprehensive Plan.
- Create a website to host the metrics, updating the general public on progress while providing transparency and supporting data.
- Develop criteria, based upon the goals and objectives, to guide zone map amendment decisions.
Goal 3: Increase regional planning.
- Set the standard through leadership and engagement to identify and resolve regional issues.
- Support legislative efforts and cross-border actions that improve regional planning, including, but not limited to, developing regional policies; sharing information; and planning for regional systems of transportation, open space, water supply and infrastructure.