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Rural Bluegrass Gateways & Roadways

Emphasize the preservation, protection, and promotion of the iconic Bluegrass landscape along rural gateways and roadways serving as primary tourist routes.

Visitors to Lexington frequently remark about the scenic beauty observed while driving through the farmland on the way to a destination. Trips to horse farms, distilleries, breweries, or any of the other tourist hot spots become as much about the journey as the destination. The experience draws people in, and, in some cases, influences visitors’ decisions to locate themselves or their businesses to Lexington permanently. Foals frolicking in a pasture, great blue herons perched on the banks of the Elkhorn, green rolling hills of bluegrass and crops, and historic dry-laid stone fences all add to the Bluegrass experience and make the case for preserving one of the world’s most iconic landscapes.

The map below from the 2017 Rural Land Management Plan (RLMP) shows historic turnpikes, State Designated Scenic Byways, turnpikes and byways, and other scenic roads, as well as scenic view sheds and the Paris Pike Overlay area. The detailed lists of these roads are on pages 82 and 83 of the RLMP. Gateways identified by the RLMP are shown below, and the recommendations described in pages 87 through 90 of the RLMP should be followed.

From the RLMP: “First impressions for those entering the Rural Service Area should be favorable and lasting, whether arriving at the county line, Urban Service Boundary, interstate or airport. Gateway planning and design should reflect the values of the community to protect the beauty of the rural landscape while welcoming visitors.”

Goals and Objectives

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 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.

GOAL E1: Uphold the Urban Service Area concept.

Objective: E1b

Ensure all types of development are environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable to accommodate the future growth needs of all residents while safeguarding rural land.

GOAL E2: Support the agricultural economy, horse farms, general agricultural farms and the rural character of the Rural Service Area.

Objective: E2a

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.

Objective: E2b

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.