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New Development & Historic Districts

Address new development context along the boundaries of existing Historic Districts to enhance historic areas while encouraging infill and redevelopment.

Traditionally, the application of zoning has been almost universally about softening the edges of varying land uses against each other. American economic shifts have resulted in less need for stepdown zoning, as today planners are less likely to need to address mitigating the impacts of manufacturing and industrial uses on less intense areas directly adjacent. On the other hand, preservation efforts of the last few decades have increased the desire to mitigate issues of context between old and new. Lexington’s local economy has undergone a similar transformation over the last few decades. While the tobacco industry has waned, the city’s service and healthcare industries have grown significantly. The more urban land uses of the new economy are increasingly complementary to existing residential land use patterns. Greater consideration to site design can make those transitions even more complementary and of greater benefit to neighborhoods.

Redevelopment of older industrial sites near historic areas creates an opportunity to enhance those spaces. Historic preservation efforts have succeeded in making some areas attractive for new growth around them, a testament to their success. However, creating a market for new projects is not without its own issues to monitor. Imagine Lexington absolutely supports preservation of existing historic districts, while encouraging new infill and redevelopment projects in areas around them.

Development criteria within Imagine Lexington will seek to address some of these contextual issues in order to better provide guidance to historic property owners and developers about what to expect along the boundaries of historic zones. The primary goal will be to enhance the historic areas by creating new dynamic places where people will want to live, work and visit, while not attempting to mimic or recreate the past. In the urban core, increases in land use intensity are to be expected, while still enhancing the aesthetic of directly adjacent historic areas.

Goals and Objectives

GOAL A2: Support infill and redevelopment throughout the Urban Service Area as a strategic component of growth.

Objective: A2a

Identify areas of opportunity for infill, redevelopment, adaptive reuse, and mixed-use development.

Objective: A2b

Respect the context and design features of areas surrounding development projects and develop design standards and guidelines to ensure compatibility with existing urban form.

Objective: A2d

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.

GOAL A3: Provide well-designed neighborhoods and communities.

Objective: A3a

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

GOAL B3: Apply environmentally sustainable practices to protect, conserve and restore landscapes and natural resources.

Objective: B3b

Identify and protect natural resources and landscapes before development occurs.

GOAL C1: Support and showcase local assets to further the creation of a variety of jobs.

There are no objectives related to this policy that further this particular goal.

GOAL D3: Protect and enhance the natural and cultural landscapes that give Lexington-Fayette County its unique identity and image.

Objective: D3a

Protect historic resources and archaeological sites.

Objective: D3b

Incentivize the renovation, restoration, development and maintenance of historic residential and commercial structures.

Objective: D3c

Develop incentives to retain, restore, preserve and continue use of historic site and structures, rural settlements and urban and rural neighborhoods.