Lexington’s Challenges…and Opportunities
Despite its potential, Lexington-Fayette County is facing many challenges. We are losing farmland at an alarming rate to sprawl development. For instance, Fayette County lost over 19,000 acres of agricultural land between 1997 and 2002, and was named as one of the most endangered cultural landscapes in the world by the World Monuments Fund in 2006. And yet, it’s estimated that we have over 12,000 acres of underused and blighted land inside the city for potential re-development.
No question, Lexington-Fayette County will continue to grow. An additional 60,000 people will be calling Lexington home by 2030. Therefore, the real question is not “if” we grow, but “how” we grow— and The Fayette Alliance believes we can provide an answer that protects our irreplaceable Bluegrass landscape, while also improving our city, quality of life, and local economy.
The need for The Fayette Alliance and its role in the community
The Fayette Alliance is your voice at City-Hall that advocates for a sustainable growth in Lexington…to create a world-class city in a world-class Bluegrass landscape.
We believe that preserving and promoting our signature Bluegrass farmland and its related agricultural industries; creating a dynamic and equitable city through responsible development; and improving our infrastructure and environment are key to achieving success here in Lexington-Fayette County. For more details, see “What We Do”.
We are an alliance of citizens from the entire community. As a united voice for sustainable growth, we only weigh-in on those land-use issues that have countywide significance.With your help, we chart our future and positively impact local zoning and policy decisions—the very building blocks of our community. See “How We’ve Made a Difference”. Since 2006, The Fayette Alliance worked with city-hall to usher over 50 major land-use policies into law since 2006.
Together, we can accomplish sustainable growth in Fayette County and achieve a better quality of life, environment, and economy for all of us.
The Fayette Alliance’s vision for Lexington-Fayette County builds on our history as the “Athens of the West,” while advancing a future that ensures a high quality of life for all Lexingtonians. In this vein, Lexington-Fayette County will strengthen its role as the commercial, educational, and cultural epicenter of the Bluegrass Region.
This vision includes a vibrant city surrounded by productive farmland.
To achieve this vision, Lexington-Fayette County will:
Protect its prime farmland for agricultural use by both the equine and general agricultural industries, while promoting its signature Bluegrass landscape for the pride and enjoyment of the entire community and in furtherance of developing cultural tourism;
Secure the infrastructure necessary to achieve appropriate environmental conditions vital to the health and happiness of every Fayette County citizen, including requisite facilities, and improved sanitary sewer and stormwater systems.
Vigorously pursue innovative and responsible development opportunities to secure long-term economic success, adequate affordable housing, appropriate historic preservation, efficient transportation networks, and needed greenways.
Thereby making Lexington-Fayette County as one of the most livable municipalities in America.
• Protect key agricultural areas from adverse development and encroachment.
• Promote the efforts of the LFUCG Purchase of Development Rights Program and the Bluegrass Conservancy, which preserves the factory floor of Fayette County farming forever.
• Promote the renovation and improvement of infrastructure that services the city of Lexington, including our sanitary sewer, stormwater, and water quality facilities.
• Promote the healthy and responsible development of land inside our current Urban Services Area using various programs such as the land-bank authority, abandoned urban property commission, enterprise zones, tax increment financing, design guidelines, efficient and transparent land-use planning processes, and the LFUCG Downtown Masterplan.
For more information.
• Promote environmentally sensitive, energy efficient, and sustainable development using incentive programs that encourage best management practices, and local greenway and parks systems.
• Promote increased access to affordable housing through incentive programs, and potentially an affordable housing trust fund. Affordable housing is a housing cost that does not exceed 120% of median income.
The Fayette Alliance works frequently with LFUCG departments, boards, commissions and elected officials to advance an efficient, cost effective and balanced land use strategy. Since our inception, The Fayette Alliance’s voice at city hall has become valued as demonstrated by the 40-major land-use policies we’ve ushered into law. Through our watchdog presence, The Fayette Alliance is routinely aware of upcoming issues that impact our farmlands, the responsible growth of our city, and environment.
The executive director of The Fayette Alliance, Knox van Nagell, represents the organization at city hall—and comes to the table with a legal background and willingness to work with stakeholders from the entire community to achieve reasonable, well-researched results.
The Fayette Alliance staff regularly gives presentations about the benefits of a sustainable growth strategy here in Lexington-Fayette County. Alliance representatives meet often with businesses, neighborhood associations, civic groups, classrooms, and the general public to advance the education arm of its mission.
A primary goal of The Fayette Alliance is to educate residents about the environmental, economic, and cultural benefits of responsible growth—and reputable, factual and legal research is the foundation for this initiative.
The Fayette Alliance believes that Lexingtonians should be informed about the important growth issues facing our community, and urges them to use their voice at city hall.
In just four years, The Fayette Alliance has ushered over 50 major land-use policies into law—making a real difference in our community. Some examples include:
* From 2006–2012, successfully lobbying Council to fund the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program—resulting in the conservation of over 5,000 acres of prime Fayette County farmland.
* In 2006, successfully lobbying Planning Commission to stop the expansion of the Urban Service Boundary and saving over 7,500 acres of prime Fayette County farmland from sprawl development.
* From 2007–2012, successfully lobbying Council to support several needed water quality initiatives including the sanitary sewer user fee, the water quality management fee and program, and the use of green infrastructure in our subdivision regulations.
* From 2006–2012, successfully supporting LFUCG in its efforts to secure federal grant monies for the Yellow Bikes program, and the Healthway and Town Branch Trail systems.
* From 2007 – 2012, successfully lobbying Planning Commission and Council for zoning to support over $500 million in infill redevelopment projects—including the Distillery District, the Red Mile project, and the Krikorian Entertainment District.
* From 2006–2012, successfully raising awareness for the need for affordable housing, including securing funding for the LFUCG Housing Market Study and joining local government to defeat House Bill 447 in Frankfort –if passed, House Bill 447 would have prohibited all local governments from enacting local affordable housing programs.
* From 2006–2012, successfully educating the public about the importance of responsible growth in Lexington-Fayette County, using op-eds, media interviews, candidate forums during LFUCG election seasons, public presentations, social media, and a revamped interactive website. Alliance supporters have viewed our newly re-designed website over 41,000 times since it was launched in summer 2009.
Our Legal Status
The Fayette Alliance is a 501 (c) 4 corporation. As such, The Fayette Alliance is a public welfare business whose primary purpose is education, advocacy, and awareness.
Unlike other non-profit organizations, The Fayette Alliance can lobby and educate local government provided such activity is related to its mission.
Lobbying activities includes attending all relevant planning and zoning meetings, educating the public, political leaders, and government officials about growth issues, and the possible formation of a political action committee or PAC.
Any donations made to The Fayette Alliance are deductible if you deem that supporting our mission is an ordinary and necessary business expense.
The Fayette Alliance cannot participate or intervene in political campaigns as its primary activity. Therefore, neither the Fayette Alliance nor its executive director may endorse specific candidates for office. However, The Fayette Alliance PAC may endorse a specific candidate for office.
Nevertheless, The Fayette Alliance and its executive director may educate the public and its supporters on where various candidates stand on growth issues. Moreover, supporters of The Fayette Alliance can personally attend and independently contribute to campaign fundraisers, etc.
Supporting The Fayette Alliance saves our most valuable resource…our community.
Gifts to The Fayette Alliance directly support the preservation and promotion of our signature Bluegrass landscape and its related agricultural industries, the creation of a dynamic and equitable city through responsible development, and the improvement of our infrastructure and environment.
Join us today, and make Lexington-Fayette County a world-class city in a world-class landscape.