Promote economic development through the preservation of strategically and appropriately located industrial and production zoned land.
The creation of adaptive reuse regulations was an acknowledgment that many of Lexington’s older industrial zoned sites were no longer suited for modern economic development purposes. As those properties became vacant and dilapidated, it presented opportunities to support the urban core with businesses and residential options better suited for their urban environment. However, it is still critical to provide a base of industrial zoned land, in strategic locations well served by appropriately scaled infrastructure and available transit service. Where sites have existing historically significant structures that can be reused or updated, all care should be taken to do so.
While Imagine Lexington is in large part focused on designing places that can accommodate a wide mix of uses, industrial and production land stands out uniquely in that there should be little encroachment by residential land on these areas, and vice versa. Just as important as preserving the industrial land is closely monitoring the adjacent land use development patterns. Appropriate buffering and transitions should be applied so that there can be minimal use restrictions applied on these industrial properties. It is important that production land remain flexible and wide-ranging in the uses allowed. The vast majority of heavier industrial and production uses are not suited to be within close proximity to residential and retail areas.
Other common themes of Imagine Lexington, however, are still very much a factor in future industrial and production growth. These areas should pay special attention to their design features as well. In meeting and discussing issues with industrial business owners, transportation for their workforce was identified as a serious hurdle they have to find unique ways to overcome. Many of the problems identified have their origins in the initial site design and location of the industrial corridor in which they are located. While it may not initially sound intuitive, full multimodal transit infrastructure is of the highest importance.
All new development and redevelopment proposals should consider other design elements so that all industrial land can be as efficiently used as possible, thus ensuring there is growth potential for the future. Minimizing parking, appropriate landscaping and providing ample connectivity are all a part of taking a strategic approach to economic development areas.
- Inventory and analyze existing industry and production land, identifying areas to enhance or repurpose based on market and locational factors.