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Bill Farmer: 2012 LFUCG Candidate Questionnaire

Triangle Park | Photo by Jeff Rogers | www.jeffrogers.com

1. Economic development is crucial for our community. What role does land-use planning play in job creation, and will you make it a priority in office?

Quite simply land use planning dictates job growth opportunity. Chairing the Planning committee of the Council and the Goals and Objectives Work Group, I believe the new Comprehensive Plan will indeed set the tone for opportunity and job growth.

2. Do you support an expansion of the Urban Service Boundary during this Comprehensive Plan Process?

I did not and the Goals & Objectives reflect that.

Brookfield Farm | Photo by Traxler

3. What will you do to ensure that the land bank authority is properly established? What should be the criteria for awarding parcels for infill-redevelopment projects and/or real estate deals?

I am open to the land bank discussion but am more interested in working to incentivize the current Economic Development land, making viable to bring jobs to Lexington.

4. Will you support continued annual funding for the PDR program?

Yes.

5. How will you address Lexington’s affordable housing needs?

This issue has many advocates and will need consistent funding to make a difference.

6. How will you promote our signature agricultural industries, including equine and the local food movement in Fayette County?

The new Goals & Objectives that form the basis for our new Comprehensive Plan promote tourism that both helps showcase our signature industries and in turn fund them. I will look for promotable opportunities and any matching funds that will help. When there are legislative opportunities I will pursue them, and finally I will continue to highlight them in the weekly E-newsletter that originates from the 5th District Council Office.

Downtown | photo by Kathleen Burke | Fayette Alliance Staff

7. How will you handle CentrePointe and similar development projects moving forward? Is design excellence important for downtown Lexington, and if so how will you promote it in office?

As it relates to CentrePointe, I want them to add to Lexington’s skyline with great design—and the same applies for Rupp Arena. I support the work of the Downtown Development Authority and its new leader Jeff Fugate. When opportunities for great design can be fostered I will via legislation, communication or other means necessary.

8. How do you propose addressing – in the short and long term – the student housing issues in Lexington’s established neighborhoods?

There have been some successful partnerships with UK on this, and I believe we need to continue to work together. Dr. Capiluto’s focus on campus includes more housing there, and more old warehouses continue to convert into new housing. From the District prospective I want to continue to help neighborhoods remain viable.

9. How will you incentivize infill in the Urban Service Boundary, while protecting the character and historic resources of our neighborhoods? Do you support the ND-1 and H-1 overlays?

I support the opportunities for neighborhoods to seek ND-1 and H-1 overlays. Incentives for Economic Development land will have to be considered. I believe we can be ready partners when the economy improves and tailor incentives according to opportunity.

Town Branch Stream | photo by Kathleen Burke | Fayette Alliance staff

10. How can we improve our compromised water quality conditions in Lexington Fayette county?

Keep working to implement the EPA Consent Decree on time and under budget.

11. What is the biggest challenge and opportunity facing Lexington-Fayette County?

The biggest challenge continues to be waiting for the economy to improve. More jobs will bring back revenue without raising taxes. The ability to be ready when that day comes is the great opportunity.