Default alt text

Community Facilities

Policies Related to Community Facilities

Theme A - Design Policy 10 - Neighborhood Focal Points

Provide neighborhood focal points accessible to all residents.
Neighborhood focal points can be a gathering space such as a park, greenspace, a shopping center, a community center or public square. To the extent possible, new residential development should be developed with new focal points in mind by allowing for easy, multimodal access from the neighborhood instead of development that turns its back on the community hub.

Theme A - Design Policy 11 - Utilize Single Loaded Streets

Single loaded streets should be utilized in order to establish clear public access to neighborhood focal points.
Even passive greenspace requires clear, visible access in order to fulfill the needs of a neighborhood. A focal point should be clearly delineated from private lots in order to be welcoming to all residents. Development of focal points on single loaded streets removes any opportunity for them to be tucked away unsafely in the backyards of private homes.

Theme A - Design Policy 2 - Fire & Police Service Access

Ensure proper road connections are in place to enhance service times and access to fire and police services for all residents.

There is often opposition to connecting roads between developments, as residents believe that the increased traffic will negatively affect their property.

Theme A - Design Policy 9 - Provide Adequate Greenspace

Provide adequate greenspace for all neighborhoods within walking distance.

Greenspace is key to successful neighborhoods. It has the benefits of improving air quality, providing social interactions, and improving public health.

Theme A - Equity Policy 7 - Integrated Community Facilities

Community facilities should be well integrated into their respective neighborhoods.

School sites should be appropriately sized for the needs of the community and designed to be an integral part of the community, rather than sequestered and closed off.

Theme B - Protection Policy 1 - Stormwater Incentive Grant & CAP

Continue the Sanitary Sewer Capacity Assurance Program (CAP) and encourage the Stormwater Incentive Grant program to reduce impacts of development on water quality.

LFUCG Division of Water Quality oversees the storm sewer system of over 800 miles of underground pipelines; 50,000 structures; and over 1,000 wet ponds and detention basins; the sanitary sewer system of over 1,400 miles of underground pipelines; and 28,000 manholes, with nearly 80 pumping stations conveying sewage throughout the Urban Service Area.

Theme B - Restoration Policy 3 - Community Gardens & Urban Agriculture

Support community gardens and urban agriculture to restore natural resources within the Urban Service Area.

Lexington allows community gardens on public property such as parks and greenways, in areas where appropriate. Seedleaf was founded in 2007 with a mission to nourish communities by growing and sharing food in Lexington. The nonprofit grew three gardens in 2008, 10 gardens in 2009, and has grown steadily since then.

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 10 - Recycling & Waste Management

Enhance Lexington’s recycling and waste management programs.

Some environmental benefits of recycling include:

  • Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
  • Conserving natural resources such as timber, water and minerals
  • Increasing economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
  • Preventing pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saving energy
  • Suppo…

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 11 - Green Infrastructure

Require green infrastructure elements for new development, and require during redevelopment where appropriate.

Since 2016, the stormwater manual has required the use of green infrastructure for stormwater management for both volume and water quality control.

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 4 - Accessible Greenspace

Make recommendations to locate new development within walking distance of existing greenspace / community centers, or create greenspace / community centers within walking distance of residential uses.

Development should provide greenspace or other community gathering spaces within walking distance of residents, especially if these amenities are not otherwise provided.

Strategic and walkable placement of amenities and greenspace is important as it provides for a high quality of life, but also because it reduces the vehicle miles traveled.

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 8 - STAR Community Rating Program

Encourage Lexington to join the STAR Community rating program.

STAR Communities is a nonprofit organization that works to evaluate, improve, and certify sustainable communities. They administer the STAR Community Rating System (STAR), the nation’s first framework and certification program for local sustainability. Cities and counties use STAR to measure their progress across social, economic and environmental performance areas.

Theme C - Livability Policy 3 - Regional Athletic Field Complex

Create a large regional athletic field complex for economic development and to enhance Lexington’s existing facilities.

According to the 2018 Parks and Recreation Master Plan:

“The Bluegrass Sports Commission previously approached the city about a partnership for the development of a sports complex to promote economic development.

Theme C - Livability Policy 5 - Enhance Programs & Activities

Enhance programs and activities by Lexington’s Parks and Recreation Department, and support public event planning, community events, and festivals.

Many of the festivals, parades, and events that Parks and Recreation hold are in the same location each year. Events, festivals, parades, and the like are important in celebrating holidays, cultures, and community celebrations. These activities add to the livability of the city, attract tourists, and provide entertainment options that appeal to millennials, as well as people of all ages.

Theme C - Livability Policy 7 - Multimodal & Mixed-Use Community

Continue to create a true multimodal and mixed-use community with safe and quality access to community facilities, greenspace, employment, neighborhoods businesses, shopping, and entertainment.

Walkscore is a website that scores neighborhoods based on a formula that assesses a neighborhood’s walkability, bikeability, and multimodal service on a scale from 1 to 100. In reviewing local Lexington scores, some areas scored much higher in walk and bike scores than others.

Theme C - Prosperity Policy 2 - Support Development & Infrastructure Funding

Support the continued funding for Economic Development grants and the Commonwealth Infrastructure fund, as well as Lexington’s Public Infrastructure Fund.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council started an Economic Development Grant to help with “funding projects that will positively impact economic and workforce development in the City of Lexington.” The funding will be used for training/retraining, entrepreneurial support, employment re-entry, work-based learning and/or skills certification scholarships, and/or potentially other services rel…

Theme C - Prosperity Policy 4 - Fiber-Optic Broadband Infrastructure

Encourage installation of fiber-optic broadband infrastructure for high-tech and other industries.

Nearly every aspect of modern society is becoming increasingly web-dependent and, like the Interstate highway system connects communities, digital broadband infrastructure is essential for any 21st century community to thrive in areas of commerce, health, education, entertainment, and government.

Theme D - Placemaking Policy 1 - Town Branch Commons Strategic Master Plan

Implement the Town Branch Commons Strategic Master Plan as an element of the Comprehensive Plan.

Town Branch Commons will be a strip of Bluegrass running through downtown Lexington, roughly following the path of Town Branch, Lexington’s first water source. It will link the city's two major trails, Town Branch Trail and the Legacy Trail, to provide 22 miles of uninterrupted trail connecting downtown to the rural landscape.

Theme D - Placemaking Policy 10 - Public Art Easements

Coordinate with the Public Art commission to designate public art easements on new development that would be curated by the Commission.

The creation of the adaptive reuse ordinance in 2008 was the first time the zoning ordinance considered any provision for public art on private property. Since that time, public art in Lexington has become a substantial part of the urban fabric.

Theme D - Placemaking Policy 14 - Regional Park System

Pursue a regional park system.

Regional parks can provide multiple community-wide benefits relating to public health, recreation and environmental protection. They serve the city as a whole, in comparison to smaller parks, which meet local needs.

Theme D - Placemaking Policy 3 - Placemaking Design Standards

Establish design standards for placemaking.

Having thoughtful design standards that are both flexible and responsive to diverse conditions is an essential component of moving toward a community filled with special places that are inviting and memorable.

Theme D - Placemaking Policy 4 - Quality Useable Open Space

Create quality and useable open space for all developments over one acre.

Open space is key for livable, sustainable communities. Whether a commercial development or residential neighborhood, how people will interact and move within a space needs to be considered. Successful, usable open space requires both private and public open space areas, designed and incorporated intentionally into the fabric of all development.

Theme D - Support Policy 1 - Integrate School Sites with Neighborhood

Ensure school sites are designed to integrate well into the surrounding neighborhood.

Theme A (Growing Successful Neighborhoods) highlights the large role that design plays in successful neighborhoods, whether it be on a large or a small scale, and Lexington’s schools are no exception.

Theme D - Support Policy 2 - Natural Components in School Sites

Incorporate natural components into school site design to further the goals of Theme B (Protecting the Environment), but also to provide calming elements that reduce student stress and anxiety.

With many Fayette County schools due for expansion and/or renovations in the coming year(s) and the additional group of new schools slated for construction, consideration must be given to the significance of site design that extends beyond the building and into the natural landscape that immediately surrounds the property.

Theme D - Support Policy 3 - Wireless Communications Network

Support the maintenance and expansion of a robust wireless communications network creating reliable service throughout Lexington’s urban and rural areas.

In the last several Comprehensive Plans, as well as in the Rural Land Management Plan, the importance of wireless communication has been recognized as integral to the safety and welfare of the community – in both the Urban Service Area and the Rural Service Area.

Theme D - Support Policy 4 - Equitable & Robust Healthcare

Provide equitable healthcare opportunities throughout Lexington to allow for the wide range of medical needs of all populations.

The healthcare industry is one of Lexington’s primary economic drivers, because it is a hub for medical services of all levels – from clinics and doctor’s offices to hospitals and the regional trauma center at Chandler Medical Center.

Theme D - Support Policy 5 - Social Service Equitability

Provide equity in social services by ensuring those in need are served by social service community facilities that address homelessness, substance abuse, mental health, and other significant issues.

The typical community facilities that serve Lexington-Fayette County, including libraries, schools, fire and police stations, sanitary sewers and stormwater facilities, have been addressed in planned documents and discussed over the course of many decades.

Theme D - Support Policy 6 - Multimodal Access to Services & Facilities

Ensure all social service and community facilities are safely accessible via mass transit, bicycle, and pedestrian transportation modes.

While connectivity and accessibility are important for all places within the community, they are especially vital for the places that provide services to our more vulnerable populations. A great many people that require social services rely on alternative forms of transportation aside from single-occupancy vehicles..

Theme D - Support Policy 7 - Support High Speed Internet

Continue to support the provision of high speed internet services throughout Lexington.

Quality and dependable high speed internet is vital to top-tier businesses, small entrepreneurs, and private personal device users alike. As of late 2017, the Council voted to approve a 10-year franchise agreement to MetroNet, a company new to the Lexington market, to provide gigabit speed internet service.

Theme D - Support Policy 8 - Quality of Life for Seniors

Build upon the success of the Senior Citizens’ Center to provide improved quality of life opportunities for the largest growing population demographic.

As increasing numbers of “Baby Boomers” choose to the leave the workforce, the need for meaningful social interaction opportunities for seniors will be increasingly important. The Lexington Senior Center and its three satellite sites (Charles Young Center, Bell House, and Eldercrafters at the Black and Williams Center) serve residents of Fayette County 60 years and older.

Theme E - Accountability Policy 2 - Modernize the Zoning Ordinance

Modernize the Zoning Ordinance to reflect the direction of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, proactively planning for the next 20 years of growth.

The last major overhaul of Lexington’s Zoning Ordinance in 1983, much needed in the wake of the City and County merger, also included significant revisions to the Land Subdivision Regulations. There was a focus on raising the bar for future development and ensuring that public infrastructure be built to standards that more adequately addressed public health and safety.

Theme E - Accountability Policy 3 - Implement the Placebuilder

Implement the Placebuilder, which includes criteria for zone change applications, based upon the goals and objectives, to ensure development compliance with the Comprehensive Plan.

Imagine Lexington is full of policies that guide how development should occur throughout the city, and all of them are important. However, it can be difficult to ascertain by simply glancing at the text of the plan what developers should be aiming for with new proposed development or redevelopment.

Theme E - Accountability Policy 4 - Develop Benchmarks & Metrics

Develop growth benchmarks and determine best measurable methods to monitor them and report progress on a regular basis.

Plans are only as good as their ability to gauge measurable results in a timely fashion. To know if a plan is reaching desired outcomes, it is imperative to track the successes and failures so future adjustments can be made and successes replicated. Imagine Lexington is crafted as a policy-based plan with very specific goals in mind.

Theme E - Accountability Policy 6 - Public Outreach & Neighborhood Leaders

Partner with other agencies like the Lexington Public Library to create a public outreach opportunity that provides decision-makers with input and creates neighborhood leaders across all demographics and geographies.

In 2017, as part of a partnership with the Blue Grass Community Foundation, Leadership Lexington, Fayette County Public Schools, and many other organizations, the Division of Planning sought input into this Imagine Lexington plan with On the Table.

Theme E - Growth Policy 11 - Land Use Changes

Imagine Lexington anticipates a variety of land use changes will occur throughout the Urban Service Area and recommends those that are in agreement with the goals, objectives, and policies within this Comprehensive Plan. Land use changes alone in an area are not sufficient to constitute major changes of an economic, physical, or social nature as provided in state statute for the approval of a zone map amendment.

State statue provides direction on the findings necessary for proposed map amendments or zone changes. The primary threshold to clear is that the proposal must be in agreement with the adopted comprehensive plan.

Theme E - Growth Policy 3 - Varied, Abundant, & Connected Greenspaces

Provide varied, abundant, and connected greenspaces throughout Lexington’s urban and rural areas.

The Bluegrass identity sets Lexington apart from the rest of the world. It is vital that this identity be preserved and maintained through the designation and preservation of greenspace; growth should strike a harmonious balance between development and preservation.

Theme E - Stewardship Policy 7 - Consult with Adjacent Counties

Consult with planning departments of adjacent counties to find common Comprehensive Plan goals, objectives and implementation items where shared benefits could be gained by working together.

Regional planning efforts in the past have been difficult endeavors for many reasons; however, there is a shared goal among staff from all of Lexington’s regional neighbors to advance the basic principles of urban planning.