Flood Fears Trouble Church's Expansion

Changes to Southland Christian Church's plan to build a new campus on Richmond Road in Lexington are under review by the city's Planning Commission. To make room for another parcel on the property which was once home to Lexington Mall, Southland wants to further shrink the size of a pond next to Richmond Road.

"The existing pond is currently approved to be filled about 40, perhaps even as much as 50 percent. And this is much more fill that is involved with this particular proposal," says Bill Sallee, Planning Manager for the city of Lexington. 

There are also concerns about how changes to the pond would affect an agreement with FEMA and access to the Home Depot lot. 

Nearby residents who are already dealing with flooding issues whenever it rains, oppose the Southland proposal. Idle Hour neighborhood president Jim Capley spoke at the Wednesday meeting of the Planning Commission's Technical Committee. 

"We just can't envision that pond being reduced to the amount and the size they're talking about, even with the flow they're talking about, and that water flowing like it does now." 

An engineer for the church says changes would not affect the current floodplain. Southland hopes to have the Richmond Road campus ready for church services by Christmas Eve. 

The Planning Commission's technical committee recommended postponing the Southland pond development. The proposal will be reviewed by a subcommittee next week and voted on by the full commission March 8th.