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Sustainable Growth Task Force February 2021 Update

The Sustainable Growth Task Force received a data-packed presentation on February 17, 2021 from their consulting firm, Stantec. Stantec presented an analysis of the amount of vacant and underutilized land within the Urban Service Boundary, dividing it into categories of how the parcels are zoned and for what uses. Self-identified as a “conservative” analysis for further discussion and input from the task force, Stantec found 5100 acres of vacant land, 4700 acres of underutilized land, and identified 800 acres as “in transition”, meaning they actively had development plans. The majority of our remaining residential land is currently zoned R-3, which Planning Director Jim Duncan noted is the most commonly requested residential zone due to its flexibility for different types of development. This work is a significant step to getting a data driven understanding of how much land we have inside the USB, what the land uses are within it, how quickly our commercial/residential/industrial land is being absorbed, and development trends that will impact this moving forward. In order to make informed decisions on future growth, this baseline information, as well as that of trends and absorption rates, are critical.

In addition, the Task Force received a presentation on infrastructure and sewerability and the Capacity Assurance Program (CAP) which explained Lexington’s current sewer and water quality limitations, pursuant to the EPA Consent Decree.  The $600 million infrastructure project required by the Consent Decree, put into place in 2011, was only to bring existing infrastructure back up to EPA standards and account for developable land inside the USB. This analysis also helps the community understand what the infrastructure limitations might be for development, and what we need to account for as we consider future growth decisions.

Overall, the Stantec consultants are providing data which the Task Force members and community members alike can consider in our future growth decisions. Understanding our existing resources, land, zoning policies, past growth trends, and infrastructure limitations are critical to evaluating how we should and can grow as a community into the future.

See February 2021 Presentation