Theme C of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan: Creating Jobs & Prosperity
The unique balance between Lexington’s vibrant city and productive Bluegrass farmland is the key to our community’s quality of life and economic health. We must continue to leverage, not threaten, the landscape that makes our community unique to create jobs and prosperity for all our citizens.
As Phase 2 of the 2018 update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan continues, the Planning Staff presented their recommendations to the Planning Commission on “Theme C: Creating Jobs & Prosperity” on June 21st. This section of the Comprehensive Plan focuses on the connection between economic development and job creation and land use planning.
The Planning Commission held the June 21st meeting at Locust Trace AgriScience Center, a public Lexington high school with a focus on agriculture and agriscience. This was a fitting backdrop to discuss the theme of creating jobs and prosperity, given the centrality of agriculture and our farmland to our economy and cultural identity.
As with the other thematic areas, the Staff categorized their recommendations into three overarching pillars:
- Pillar 1—Livability: Increasingly, employers and employees choose a place to locate or live based upon quality of life and other livability issues. In an increasingly competitive marketplace for both employers and workers, investing in quality of life infrastructure and amenities makes sound economic sense. The American Association of Retired Persons has developed a Livability Index for people to measure how livable their city is through the lenses of housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity. The extent to which Lexington is able to improve in these areas will make it more successful in attracting and retaining employers and workers.
- Pillar 2—Diversity: A diverse economy is healthy and resilient. Lexington is fortunate to have a diverse economy made up of many parts. Fostering a diverse economy is critical to creating opportunity for all our citizens and ensuring economic prosperity.
- Pillar 3—Prosperity: Prosperous economies do not happen by accident. Communities achieve prosperity by creating policies to attract new businesses, retain existing companies, develop a skilled workforce, utilize existing land and facilities, and attract young professionals. Additionally, communities must have the proper infrastructure needs to support a 21st century economy, including improved transportation options and access to reliable, high-speed internet
The Staff’s recommendations on “Theme C: Creating Jobs & Prosperity” are responsive to the community’s wishes, provide strategies for economic growth, leverage our assets, and acknowledge the diverse needs of our community members. A draft of all the recommendations will be available for public review and comment in the Fall. Fayette Alliance will not issue an official position statement until the full draft is available.
The next Comp Plan Work Session is scheduled for Thursday, July 19th at 1:30 in the Phoenix Building (101 E. Vine). The Staff will present their recommendations on “Theme E: Maintaining a Balance between Planning for Urban Uses & Safeguarding Rural Land.”