Litigation is Necessary to Ensure Smart Growth
As of Friday, July 14, 2023, Fayette Alliance is both supporting and participating in a lawsuit against the LFUCG Urban County Council in an effort to ensure that the elected officials of Lexington-Fayette County base future growth decisions on research and data, and adhere to the legal process when finalizing the city’s Goals & Objectives of all future Comprehensive Plans.
The lawsuit has been filed by a group of concerned community members, joined by Fayette Alliance, who feel they will be directly “injured” by the adoption of the Goals & Objectives.
Important: Councilmembers will not be sued in their personal capacity, only in their official capacity as elected officials.
I.E: This is not personal, but rather strictly professional.
Process > Progress
This lawsuit is not simply about the expansion of the Urban Services Boundary. Had a process been put in place to make smart growth decisions — a process supported by data and research that followed the proper legal process — Fayette Alliance would have been committed to supporting the results of that process; especially if an in-depth analysis stated that expansion would benefit the community as a whole.
Need to know: This lawsuit is about a lack of process and is being filed in objection to the manner in which the decision was made to expand the USB.
We believe: Council disregarded historic and legal precedent and the proper legal process for making a substantial growth decision.
Who has the authority to make growth decisions?
This is the first time in our city’s nearly 200-year history that our Councilmembers have dictated an expansion of the Urban Services Boundary.
Prior to this decision, the Planning Commission has always based Lexington’s growth needs on data and research.
Kentucky State Law: Requires that any elements of the Planning Commission’s Comprehensive Plan be based upon “research, analysis, and projections” as specified in the statute.
In the original draft of the Goals & Objectives, the Planning Commission did not recommend an expansion of the USB. Rather, they recommended maintaining the current boundaries of the USB and focusing our efforts on implementing a new, data-driven process to make future growth decisions.
The Planning Commission relied upon a thorough analysis and study of land use in Fayette County to make this decision.
Yes, but: After receiving the Planning Commission’s recommendation, which complied with Kentucky State Law, our Councilmembers rewrote the Goals & Objectives.
Need to know: This rewrite mandated that the USB be expanded by a minimum of 2,700 acres, and up to 5,000 acres.
A Precedent for Irresponsible Growth
This decision to disregard the thoughtful work of our city’s Planning Commission, and ignore the data and research that has already been done, sets a precedent for irresponsible and unchecked growth for generations to come.
We believe that the Councilmember’s rewrite of the Goals & Objectives does not comply with Kentucky State Law — specifically, Kentucky Revised Statue (KRS) Chapter 100.
KRS 100.191 requires that any elements of the Planning Commission’s Comprehensive Plan be based upon “research, analysis, and projections” as specified in the statute.
Read it for yourself, here.
Fayette Alliance exists to promote responsible, data-driven growth within Lexington-Fayette County.
Important: Fayette Alliance is not an anti-growth organization.
We know: The issue is not if Lexington-Fayette County grows, but rather how we grow.
This lawsuit addresses the core of our mission and our work for data-driven and sustainable land use policy and is brought in the best interest of Lexingtonians.
It is our hope that litigation will result in the following:
- Ensure that all current and future elected officials of Lexington-Fayette County base future growth decisions on research and data.
- Ensure that all current and future elected officials of Lexington-Fayette County adhere to the legal process when finalizing the city’s Goals & Objectives of all future Comprehensive Plans.
“Residents and Community Group Sue Urban County Council Over Expansion Vote” | Lexington Herald-Leader
Kruser and Krew | WVLK AM (590)
“Lawsuit Challenges Lexington’s New Urban Service Boundary “| Spectrum News