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.


Applications now being accepted

The annual PDR application cycle is open and applications are being accepted through Friday, October 29, 2021. Read this information sheet and then complete this application if you wish to apply.

Though we are not conducting Public Information Sessions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be happy to set up a personal Zoom meeting or meet you at your farm or the PDR office if you have any questions or need assistance with the application. Some of  the questions on the application, such as whether your farm is in a focus area or on a designated scenic road, will be answered with data we obtain from the LFUCG Geographic Information System (GIS) staff, so it is fine to select “unsure” when applicable.

The application requires notarized signatures of all persons listed on the deed of ownership, and the LFUCG has notaries available if needed.  Thank you for your interest and please contact PDR Director, Beth Overman, at eoverman@lexingtonky.gov or (859) 425-2227 if you have any questions.

How many farms are in PDR?

There are 281 farms permanently protected by PDR, totaling nearly 30,552 acres, with 2,046 acres under contact. There are six farms totaling 1,694 acres under contract.

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.



2021 meeting schedule

All meetings will be held at 3 p.m. via Zoom. Meetings are the last Wednesday of the month at 3 p.m. and will be the last Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise noted.

Jan. 27
Feb. 24
March 24
April 28
May 26
June 30
July 28
Aug. 25
Sept. 29
Oct. 27
Nov. 17
Dec. 15

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

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 Housing and Infrastructure Request Form available via the link below and submit it via email to the PDR Director, Beth Overman, at eoverman@lexingtonky.gov. If all required documents are submitted by the deadline shown in the chart below, the request should be considered at the next regularly scheduled board meeting. Ms. Overman will review the submitted application and contact you prior to that meeting.

Request form

Meeting Date        Application Deadline

August 25             August 12

September 29      September 16

October 27           October 14

November 17       November 4

December 15       December 2

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