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Why & How

A growing, vibrant city

Lexington is a growing, vibrant city - a city with an iconic identity worth preserving, and vast potential to extend that quality of life to newcomers and visitors alike. Imagine Lexington, created after two years of study, deliberation, and public input, creates a path forward for the next 20 years to unlock that potential. This is a plan designed for Lexington by the people of Lexington, and is an ambitious yet attainable vision for the future. Comprehensive Plans are required by state law for jurisdictions engaging in land use regulations, influencing land use decisions, policy and ordinance changes, as well as community facility development. Therefore, Imagine Lexington directly impacts the everyday lives of Lexingtonians, touching each of the vital components of the community, and laying out a road map for them to work together.

Why is a comprehensive plan needed?

Well-planned cities do not happen by accident, nor do they appear overnight. As Lexington has evolved throughout the years, the City has both built on opportunities and learned from challenges. This plan is the next chapter in our city’s history and was made possible through the rich and progressive planning history that came before it.

In addition to being a visionary document, the Comprehensive Plan is also required by state statute. KRS 100 requires any community engaging in land use regulations to have a Comprehensive Plan and update it every five years.

Your Plan. Every step of the way.

The Comprehensive Plan has two very distinct components, each with their own statutorily-driven process. Phase I, Goals & Objectives, is the first and comprises the skeletal framework of the plan that sets the direction for the rest of the document. 

Lexington has always given careful consideration to the Goals & Objectives throughout the Comprehensive Planning process, and Imagine Lexington was no different. This data-driven process used a host of data sources and other city studies and plans, as well as an unprecedented public engagement process that involved over 10,000 people. The final Goals & Objectives were developed through the recommendation of Planning Commission, and were ultimately approved and adopted by the Urban County Council.

If the Goals & Objectives are the skeleton framework, the Elements are the flesh that gives the plan substance and a means to accomplish the Goals & Objectives. These elements were structured within cross-cutting “Themes” that reflect the true nature of how the community operates and interacts. Each theme also has “Pillars” which provide organization and emphasis within each theme. Within the pillars are “Policies” that provide explicit direction on how to achieve certain objectives. Specific implementation items derived from these policies are “ACTION ITEMS”, which are internally focused and serve as a work program for Planning Staff. Externally focused policies are concentrated into criteria for proposed development that are housed within “THE PLACEBUILDER”. Phase II items are ultimately approved and adopted by the Planning Commission.