Theme D of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan: Improving a Desirable Community
Lexington has a long history of innovative land use. As the first community in the country to create an urban growth boundary in 1958, Lexington is a model of how to successfully balance urban and rural land uses. Due to a history of balanced and careful planning, Lexington is known as a desirable place to live, work, and visit. Recently, we have been appearing on more and more “top-ranked city” lists for everything from “Best City for New Grads” to “Best City to Retire.”
We must continue to leverage our world-class rural assets and increasingly vibrant city to keep the momentum going and ensure our community is desirable and functional 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 D: Improving a Desirable Community” on May 17 and June 14. This section of the Comp Plan addresses the tangible and intangible elements that contribute to a high quality of life.
The Staff’s recommendations are categorized into three overarching pillars:
- Pillar 1—Connectivity. Connecting people to the things they need and want is critical to creating a community that is desirable and functional for all. There are many components to connectivity, including increasing transportation options. This requires designing streets that are safe for walkers, cyclists, and drivers. This also requires a strategic focus on transit-oriented development to encourage a more robust mass transit system.
- Pillar 2—Placemaking. Broadly speaking, placemaking is the process of creating quality places where people want to live, work, play, shop, learn, and visit. Quality placemaking is important for economic development and improving safety and livability of neighborhoods and public spaces. Key components of placemaking are involving the community in meaningful ways in the development process and honoring the historical and built character of our great neighborhoods.
- Pillar 3—Support. Desirable communities do not happen organically or by accident. Support services and infrastructure provide the foundation of a community’s quality of life. Education, healthcare, public safety, social services, as well as necessary infrastructure such as transportation and access to the internet, are crucial facets of a thriving community. Ensuring the accessibility, success, and functionality of these critical facets are pivotal as our community continues to grow.
The Staff’s recommendations on “Theme D: Improving a Desirable Community” are responsive to the community’s wishes and provide strategies for growing in an intentional way that acknowledges 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.”