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Policies Related to Health

Theme A - Design Policy 1 - Utilize a People-First Design

Utilize a people-first design, ensuring that roadways are moving people efficiently and providing pedestrian infrastructure that is context sensitive to the vehicle environment and land uses.

People-first neighborhood design requires the provision of transit/transportation infrastructure that places pedestrians, bicycle riders and mass transit users on the same level as automobiles. Mass transit infrastructure should be considered essential.

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 12 - Neighborhood Commercial

Support neighborhood level commercial areas.

In many neighborhoods developed decades ago, the commercial areas designated to serve as neighborhood focal points have become poorly utilized or have slowly deteriorated and need additional investment. Proactively rezoning these sites from Neighborhood Business (B-1) to Commercial Center Zone (B-6P) would afford new flexibility at a neighborhood scale.

Theme A - Design Policy 13 - Connect to Stub Streets

Development should connect to adjacent stub streets and maximize the street network.

Connected streets provide direct, continuous routes and multiple route options. This reduces response times for emergency vehicles and improves access and efficiency for transit, school buses, and service vehicles, including solid waste trucks and street sweepers. Creating a robust street system with multiple routes to neighborhood destinations is unquestionably a best planning practice.

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 4 - Context Sensitive Development

Provide development that is sensitive to the surrounding context.

Context-sensitive development is compatible and complementary to adjacent neighborhoods and communities. It enhances the existing neighborhoods through land uses and development patterns that are sensitive to the nearby built and natural environments.

Theme A - Design Policy 5 - Pedestrian Friendly

Provide pedestrian friendly street patterns and walkable blocks to create inviting streetscapes.

Street design matters. Creating a neighborhood environment that is not only able to be walked, but is actually inviting and walkable is vital to providing a safe way for people to move from place to place.

Theme A - Design Policy 6 - Lexington Area MPO Bike/Ped Master Plan

Adhere to the recommendations of the Lexington Area MPO Bike/Pedestrian Master Plan, adopted in 2018.

The 2018 Bike/Pedestrian Plan, called ConnectLex, envisions “a network of high quality walkways and bikeways that connects communities and fosters economic growth and regional collaboration. People of all ages and abilities will have access to comfortable and convenient walking and biking routes, resulting in true mobility choice, improved economic opportunity, and healthier lifestyles.

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 - Protection Policy 4 - Conserve Active Agriculture

Conserve active agriculture land in the Rural Service Area while promoting a creative food chain network.

In 2012, Fayette County had 718 farm operations on 114,857 acres, which represented 63.3% of the total land within the county. In comparison, Kentucky’s farm operations made up 51.6% of the state’s total land area, and U.S. farm operations made up 40.5% of total land area in the country.

Theme B - Protection Policy 5 - Connect Farms to Community

Promote and connect local farms with the community through integrated partnerships.

Bluegrass Farm-to-Table was founded in 2015 with a mission to promote the development of a more vibrant local food economy by supporting food-related agricultural development. It has 21 partners including the government, universities, schools, farms, private entities throughout the community.

Theme B - Protection Policy 7 - Protect Natural Urban Areas

Protect sensitive natural habitats and wildlife in the Urban Service Area, protect the urban forest, and significant tree canopies in crucial ecological networks.

Enhancing and strengthening the current Planning process to increase protection and responsible development when environmentally sensitive areas and/or trees are involved would help increase protection of tree stands, rare trees, natural habitats and wildlife within the urban service area in appropriate areas.

Theme B - Restoration Policy 1 - Urban Forestry Management Plan

Follow the LFUCG Urban Forestry Management Plan, protecting and recovering Lexington’s urban forest by strategically planting new trees and creating walkable streetscapes.

The urban forest plays an important role in supporting and improving the quality of life in urban areas. A tree’s shade and beauty contributes to the community’s health and softens the often hard appearance of urban landscapes and streetscapes.

Theme B - Restoration Policy 2 - Greenspace Infrastructure & Network

Use green infrastructure to bridge gaps in the greenspace network.

Green infrastructure provides numerous environmental benefits, such as stormwater management, with limited disruption to natural land. It can serve as an urban oasis in the regional ecological system and create linkages within the greenspace network.

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 - Restoration Policy 4 - Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)

Improve air quality by reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

Reduction of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is an official goal of the U.S. Government policy, as stated in sections of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Vehicles (or mobile sources) are a major contributor to urban air pollution. Technology (cleaner vehicles and cleaner fuels) will continue to reduce vehicle pollution, but more people living in an area generally equates to more vehicles on the road.

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 1 - Regional multimodal Transportation

Develop a multi-modal transportation network and infrastructure; seek collaboration with regional transit partners for the commuting public.

When people decide how to get from one point to another, it is very important to provide them safe and competitive options.

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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 12 - Encourage Green Building Practices

Encourage and explore incentives for green building practices for new development and redevelopment.

Incentives should be explored to encourage new development or redevelopment to achieve green building standards.

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 13 - Sustainability Programs & Implementation

Develop an overarching entity / organization for existing environmentally-focused agencies to collaborate on sustainability programs and follow through on implementation.

Lexington’s neighboring cities have excellent examples for sustainability partnerships.

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 2 - Promote Transit Connectivity

Promote roadway, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity.

Development is encouraged to locate near high connectivity areas with connected street networks and diverse community uses (Infill and Redevelopment Area), so that the adjacent amenities can be fully utilized and supported by customers. Within developments, projects should be designed and built such that internal connectivity is maximized, balancing the geographic terrain.

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 3 - Transit-Oriented Development

Encourage Transit-Oriented Development, increase density along major corridors and in the Infill and Redevelopment Area to support transit ridership, thus reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) refers to communities with high quality public transit services, good walkability, and compact, mixed land use.

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 5 - Reduce Vehicle Oriented Development

Reduce / discourage vehicle oriented development patterns, such as drive-through businesses within the Urban Service Boundary, especially in the urban core areas. Reduce parking footprints.

Vehicle idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 compared to restarting the engine. Countries around the world are concerned with the impact of transportation on the environment and human health. Messages to reduce unnecessary idling are therefore a key component of many national sustainability programs.

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 6 - Telecommuting & Flexible Work

Apply traffic mitigation programs, such as communication with employers, to encourage flexible work schedules or telecommuting.

Traffic creates headaches for commuters. At the same time, it generates more air pollution than drivers may realize. However, improving available technology and sustainable initiatives by corporations, such as telecommuting and flexible work schedules away from rush hour, have come into play in many areas.

Theme B - Sustainability Policy 7 - Promote Energy Efficiency

Continue and expand energy efficiency initiatives, promote energy efficient buildings by supporting grants and public recognition.

LFUCG Energy Initiatives work closely with divisions across government to implement the city’s Energy Management Plan, which was established in 2004 to reduce consumption of utility and fuel resources, promote conservation, and realize cost savings. Energy efficiency criteria is used to guide purchasing decisions in new buildings, repairs and retrofits.

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 B - Sustainability Policy 9 - Increase Awareness of Energy Efficiency

Develop and proactively share educational materials and programs to increase public awareness of energy efficiency benefits and services.

"Materials should provide a consistent message about sustainable practices and be tailored to each individual audience’s needs, such as school students, workplaces, realtors, appraisers, contractors, designers, architects, engineers, etc.

Theme C - Diversity Policy 4 - Encourage Workforce Inclusion

Encourage training, programs, and workforce inclusion opportunities for people with disabilities or judicial records, or who have undergone rehabilitation from addiction.

The Opportunity for Work & Learning (OWL) is a non-profit organization that has helped 26,000 people since 1961 to overcome mental and physical disabilities or prior incarceration to achieve growth in their personal, as well as professional lives.

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 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 - Livability Policy 8 - Promote Quality of Life

Promote quality of life aspects, including greenspace, as an attraction to new businesses and residents.

The design of a city, its public spaces, and public infrastructure have important correlations with quality of life, social development, and other key components of human wellbeing. Likewise, appealing cities are more likely to attract a creative, innovative, and skilled workforce, and the investments that are needed to drive the urban economy.

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 - Connectivity Policy 1 - Street Design by Place-Type

Street design should reflect and promote the desired place-type.

Designers of the built street environment must work to address the functionality of the space to ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses as well as transportation network connections. True multimodal street designs must acknowledge how adjacent land uses and building forms influence user perceptions, needs, and safety.

Theme D - Connectivity Policy 2 - Multimodal Streets for All Needs

Create multimodal streets that satisfy all user needs.

A safe, fully-connected multimodal transportation system is not about moving vehicles, but about moving people and supporting the community by improving the quality of life for everyone. Achieving this goal requires all modes of transportation be considered equally during the design of rights-of-way.

Theme D - Connectivity Policy 3 - Multimodal Access Equitability

Provide equitable multimodal access for those who do not drive due to age, disability, expense, or choice.

Mobility, social interaction, and physical activity enhance the quality of life of children, the aging population, persons with disabilities and the economically disadvantaged. The removal of barriers to independent travel reduces the need for more costly alternatives such as paratransit, private transportation services, and ‘hazard’ busing for school students.

Theme D - Connectivity Policy 4 - Provide Alternative Routes

Design street networks that provide alternative route options, which reduces traffic congestion.

Public surveys consistently identify traffic congestion as a major perceived concern in Lexington. In general, there is insufficient understanding by the public on how a more connected street network could help alleviate traffic congestion.

Within disconnected street networks, traffic is concentrated along major roads because there are not alternative route options for commuters.

Theme D - Connectivity Policy 5 - Design Streets for the Desired Speed

Streets should be designed for the desired speed, using built-in traffic calming measures such as roundabouts, narrower street widths, chicanes, medians, etc.

In Lexington, speeding is a common complaint on wider streets, particularly those classified as collectors. These streets, which are wider by design, create faster vehicle speeds, regardless of the posted speed limit, due to the driver’s perception of a wide open space.

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Theme D - Connectivity Policy 6 - Holistically Design Streets

Take a holistic approach to designing context-sensitive streets, addressing them within the framework of the countywide network context and the needs of all users.

The benefits of context-sensitive multimodal street design are many, but all encompass the responsibilities that designers ensure the health, safety and welfare of the people who will use this public space.

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 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 2 - Retrofit Incomplete Suburbs

Retrofit incomplete suburban developments, incorporating elements that create complete neighborhoods.

For decades, Lexington embraced strong Euclidian zoning as a way to protect residential uses from the negative externalities of incompatible land uses. However, the market has seen a significant shift in residential consumer preferences, to which Lexington must respond and address with more modern zoning regulations.

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 - Placemaking Policy 5 - Review Regulations for Walkability

Review zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations to create more walkable places.

As was prominently discussed in Theme A, from a standpoint of developing great neighborhoods, there should be a focus on creating pedestrian-friendly streets and walkable blocks that make traversing them on foot a desirable activity.

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 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 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 5 - Increase Alternative Transit Facilities

Increase dedicated bike lanes, pedestrian and transit facilities in the existing right-of-way, focusing on moving people rather than exclusively single-occupancy vehicles.

Historically, public infrastructure has been focused on creating the easiest and fastest means of transit for single-occupancy vehicles. This resulted in abundant wide lanes of paved asphalt, but limited pathways for pedestrians, cyclists or transit riders.

Theme E - Growth Policy 1 - Infill & Redevelopment Area Regulations

Revisit Infill and Redevelopment Area regulations to ensure they are compatible with Imagine Lexington and are encouraging desired development.

The first Infill & Redevelopment Committee was created in 1996, which led to the 2001 Residential I/R Study, official adoption of the defined Infill & Redevelopment Area in the 2001 Comprehensive Plan, and subsequent regulatory changes to implement the Plan.

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 3 - Facilitate Inter-county Connectivity

Increase regional transportation cooperation and pursue multimodal transportation options, to facilitate inter-county connectivity.

A regional transportation network provides for the movement of goods and people though a multimodal system, which includes trains, trucks, buses, cars, bikes, and pedestrian options. As the regional transportation network grows, a viable system of accessible transportation alternatives should be implemented for residents and commuters alike.

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.

Theme E - Stewardship Policy 8 - Sustainability for Present & Future

Address economic, environmental, and social sustainability of new development to thoughtfully utilize Lexington’s resources for present needs while considering those of future generations.

The focus of sustainable development is to raise the standard of living for current residents without precluding the same opportunity to future generations. There are three facets to sustainability through which all proposed development should be reviewed: Economic, Social, and Environmental.