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Design Excellence for Downtown Lexington

New Facades on Main

Downtown Lexington has the potential to become one of the truly unique, human-scale, and vibrant urban areas in America. But, as with capitalizing on any opportunity, the devil is in the details.

In light of the recent CentrePointe and CVS Pharmacy controversies, city hall appointed a Downtown Design Excellence Taskforce, to focus on the feasibility of downtown design standards in Lexington. The Fayette Alliance has been serving on the taskforce, along with other community advocates, developers, and architects, since the beginning.

After extensive research and discussion, the taskforce decided in October to formally recommend comprehensive design guidelines for downtown that encourage “design excellence” in our urban core.  Specifically, the Task Force is recommending that a Downtown Design Excellence Review Board be created to oversee design guidelines. The creation of this Board involves absorbing and modifying the current Court House Area Design Review Board and expanding into the existing B-2 areas in the downtown core. H-1 guidelines would take precedence where there is overlap. In the next year, the Task Force will investigate hiring a consultant to write guidelines and ordinances and seek funding for incentives, staffing, and programming. They anticipate a final report before the end of 2012.

With this formal recommendation on the table, the Taskforce will continue its work and form several committees to study and draft the various elements of the design guidelines ordinance…from jurisdiction and open space requirements, to building elements and administration.

Coupled with development incentives, design excellence will ensure that growth can occur in our downtown without destroying what makes it so special.

The Fayette Alliance will continue to remain involved in the process and advocate for a world-class city in a world-class landscape.

Tell us what you think. What should our downtown look like? Let us know here, at www.fayettealliance.com.

Read more,

“Design task force to discuss downtown Lexington at Tuesday planning meeting” by Beverly Fortune, 1.23.12, Kentucky.com

“Long-delayed condo project showing signs of life in west side of downtown” by Beverly Fortune,  1.22.12, Kentucky.com

“Owners put Victorian Square up for sale; what’s next for downtown block?” by Beverly Fortune, 1.22.12, Kentucky.com

“Do-it-yourself urban revitalization” by Dan Dickson, 1.18.12, Kentucky.com