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Proposed changes to the Agricultural-Buffer zone

Sayre School is hoping to change a countywide zoning policy in the Agricultural-Buffer zone (A-B), which is outside of the Urban Service Boundary. The Public Hearing on the proposed ZOTA will be held on Thurs., Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 200 E. Main St. 

The change would allow them to increase their existing footprint at their outdoor athletic complex and to build an indoor recreational sports facility as well as outdoor lighting, loudspeakers, and concessions. 

It would also allow others to build both indoor and outdoor recreational facilities with those same features anywhere in the A-B zone that’s adjacent to the Blue Sky Rural Activity Center. 

Current zoning:

As it stands, 16 types of conditional use developments are limited to a size of 10,000 sqft in the A-B zone and can not include outdoor lighting, loudspeakers, and food services.

Proposed changes:

Sayre’s requested policy change aims to create permanent changes to the A-B zone by:

  • Increasing the allowable square footage for 16 conditional uses in the A-B zone
  • Have the permitted square footage be tied to the total acreage of the property 
  • Permit outdoor lighting, loudspeakers, and limited concession sales outside the Urban Service Boundary

The Agricultural Buffer zone:

The current policies are critical to maintaining the integrity of this zone; helping minimize the impact of uses unrelated to the agricultural intent of the area and the surrounding agricultural uses.

The A-B zone preserves the rural character of Lexington by establishing land that can serve as a buffer area between urban uses and the surrounding countryside. 

Our position:

In late 2022, Fayette Alliance and other community stakeholders advocated for a pause on all ZOTAs in the rural area until further examination of the impacts of these changes being made for one-off developments. 

Changing our county-wide zoning policies on a development-by-development basis is harming our rural area, future investment opportunities in our productive agricultural economy, and more.   

Stay tuned for more information about Fayette Alliance’s position on this ZOTA and ways you can get involved and advocate with the Planning Commission before the 1/26 Public Hearing. 

Final thoughts:

If we allow more developments with larger footprints to be constructed on our rural land, are we continuing to protect the integrity of our farms, world-famous landscape, and prized soils?