As a non-profit, we have been your voice at City Hall for smart, sustainable growth for 15 years. Our mission from the beginning has been to advocate at city hall, educate the community, and fund research that helps our city decide HOW we grow, because we know that growth is inevitable.
Who was been part of Fayette Alliance? Farmers, neighborhood representatives, local chefs, developers, and business owners came together as Fayette Alliance to ensure there are people working every day to positively impact county-wide planning policies and to inform our community on issues that impact our daily lives.
The founders of Fayette Alliance knew the reasons for the preservation of the greenbelt that surrounds Lexington goes far beyond the beauty of our farmland.
- In 2005, the World Monument Fund designated the Bluegrass region as one of the most endangered and significant landscapes on Earth.
- In 2008, the Brookings Institution found that Lexington was the #1 metropolitan area with the highest carbon footprint, per capita.
- The nationally significant soils that support our thriving agriculture industry – from local access to fresh food, creating one-of-a-kind bourbon, raising world-class horses, and the future of our growing AgTech industry – has always been under threat of unsustainable development.
- Direct agriculture businesses contribute over $2 billion dollars annually to our local economy and support 1 out of every 12 jobs in Lexington-Fayette County alone, and that’s not including tourism, restaurants, and other businesses.
Meeting Our Growth Needs
Did you know that according to a 2016 Greenspace Study at City Hall, 72% of Lexingtonians oppose expanding the USB? It’s one of many reasons we advocate for being good stewards of our land by utilizing the 17,000+ acres available within the USB. Underused spaces, such as parking lots, empty shopping malls, and the thousands of acres still available in our vacant expansion areas should be used to build affordable, sustainable, and walkable neighborhoods.
To meet our housing needs, we must build different types of homes that are affordable for our community members, such as Missing Middle housing (duplexes, triplexes, etc.) and subsidized Affordable housing close to jobs and services on our major roads, creating more diverse neighborhoods that benefit everyone. We advocate for policies that increase transportation options and incentivize walkable and bike-friendly development close to existing services.
To support job growth and economic development, we advocate for building infrastructure to make the 200 acres of land at Coldstream shovel-ready for economic development, which will create more jobs and build revenue for our City. In addition, we must focus on activating other existing land and office space available for employment opportunities throughout the community.
Preventing Urban Sprawl
We are advocating for the prevention of urban sprawl. This allows us to accommodate our population growth without increasing our carbon footprint, the negative health impacts of pollution, or reducing our tree canopy. It will also reduce infrastructure costs and storm-water runoff that pollutes our waterways. Research tells us the environmental impacts of urban sprawl disproportionately impact marginalized communities.
That’s why we are promoting our Grow Smart Study, which shows how our city can grow sustainably and build 33,000 to 44,000 homes within the USB, before we develop our agricultural land made up of irreplaceable, nationally significant soils. The greenbelt that surrounds our city isn’t just beautiful, it is the factory floor of our economy-driving agricultural industry that provides 1 in 12 jobs in Lexington-Fayette County, has a $2.3 billion dollar local impact, and contributes $8.5 million dollars to our payroll tax base, which funds our city government and the many services they provide to our community.
Gentrification is a real issue for growing cities both big and small all over the country, and Lexington is no different. Revitalizing an area doesn’t have to erase the identity of a neighborhood or displace its residents. Displacement occurs when developers act according to their own interests alone, neglecting to consider what kinds of investments the community actually wants and needs.
We are advocating for the prevention of inequitable growth by compelling our elected leaders to create & implement policies that focus on community-driven investment, responsible and equitable development, and prevent displacement.
We are advocating for zoning reform in coalition with other non-profits through the Coalition for a Livable Lexington to ensure Lexington grows sustainably and equitably.
We are providing non-partisan candidate questionnaires on where our local candidates stand on issues of smart, sustainable, and equitable growth during the local elections this year.
2022 will be an important year of decisions that will impact how our community grows. Stay tuned!