Fully realize the development potential within Lexington’s Rural Activity Centers while avoiding negative impacts to surrounding agriculture, Rural Settlements, and viewsheds.
The 2017 Rural Land Management Plan has a stated policy emphasis for the Rural Activity Centers (RACs) to “maximize their potential for jobs while maintaining their boundaries and minimizing impacts to the rural area.” The Rural Service Area (RSA) includes 1,562 acres dedicated to the four RACs: Blue Sky Industrial Park, Avon (Blue Grass Station), Spindletop Research Park, and the Blue Grass Airport.
Blue Sky is underutilized, with much of its area occupied by surface car lots; it can accommodate industrial uses, and is the only RAC not in public ownership. Its recommended uses are primarily for warehousing, light industrial, and interstate commercial development. There are significant opportunities to more fully realize the potential of this site, and a small area plan should be undertaken for more specific recommendations. At 271 acres, Avon is under control of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, with the exception of 79 acres that are privately held. This RAC includes several tenants, such as Lockheed Martin, which contracts for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Spindletop’s Research Campus is an office park owned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which includes tenants such as the Council of State Governments and the Asphalt Institute. This Rural Activity Center is zoned for professional office uses. There are opportunities there for additional professional office developments which would be well suited for corporate headquarters, as the land is already zoned for professional office. Economic development opportunities should be pursued though amendments to the City’s agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky regarding sanitary sewer provision would be required.
The Blue Grass Airport is largest of the RACs, at 707 acres. This RAC includes warehousing and office uses to support the airport facilities, as well as a shooting range for Lexington Police. The Airport Board also acquired another 314 acres and constructed an additional runway outside the RAC; however, the boundary was not expanded, in order to avoid complications that could arise through future property sales.
While the RACs make up a relatively small percentage of the RSA, they still provide for growth and development, primarily in Lexington’s job-creating industries. Opportunities for industrial and professional office growth are present, and, as land constraints continue to tighten, the city should look creatively to these areas for employment solutions. These should be pursued, but with constant consideration given to the integrity of the rural service area.
- Conduct a Blue Sky Small Area Plan.