Urban Service Boundary


The Urban Service Boundary is essential to protecting our farmland.

The Urban Service Boundary is a growth boundary that limits development in rural areas.  The use of such a boundary forces city planners and developers to creatively utilize available space as opposed to continually expanding outward into our signature Bluegrass farmland.

The potential expansion of our city limits into more farmland for development has significant economic, environmental, and quality of life implications for Lexington-Fayette County.

Expansion of the Urban Service Boundary will be extremely expensive.

According to a 2005 LFUCG study, it will cost, on average, $16,529.00/acre or a total of $117 million to lay new sewer lines in new development areas outside of the Urban Service Boundary. This number covers just sewer lines, not major roadway improvements, police, fire, schools, or other infrastructural needs.

The cost of expansion could increase home prices.

It is unclear who will be covering these astronomical costs.  If developers pay for them in impact/exaction fees, they will have to make this money up somewhere-perhaps in the form of increased home prices. Click Here to read more about the affordable housing issues facing Lexington today.

Horses with Lexington Skyline | Photo by Jeff Rogers, www.jeffrogers.com

Losing farmland to suburban residences will decrease city revenues.

Residential properties create a net loss for the city because of the urban services they require. For instance, in 1998, for every dollar of revenue the city gained from residential development, it spent $1.69 to service the property. On the other hand, for every dollar of revenue the city gained from Fayette County farms, it spent $.93 to service them – creating a net gain for the city.

There is still plenty of land to develop within the current Urban Service Boundary.

There are 20.66 square miles of vacant land inside our current urban service boundary. According to the LFUCG Affordable Housing Study, if infill policy decisions are made this land could be used to create 14,251 new housing units. These units could accommodate Lexington’s growth without expanding the Urban Service Area.

For more on this subject, please visit the “Our City” page.

For More Information:

“Rural Sanitary Sewer Capability Study”, LFUCG, 2006
“The Cost of Community Services in Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky”, American Farmland Trust, 1999.
“LFUCG Affordable Housing Study
“The 2007 Comprehensive Plan”, LFUCG, 2007


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