Lexington Prepares to Discuss Growth Plan

May 4, 2011

Commercial and residential growth has traditionally been hotly debated in Lexington. It's not likely to change as government officials work to update the city's comprehensive plan. Planning director Chris King told council members Tuesday he welcomes public input.

"The worst thing you want is an apathetic community and certainly we do not have that here about planning," said King.

King says a lot of issues are on the table.

"All the elements that we envision like land use transportation and environmental , community sustainability. All of those types of things will have their own element. But they must follow from the vision set by the goals and objectives," said King.

The council is charged with adopting goals for a new growth plan. Planning and zoning committee member Steve Kay says those goals should be simplified. He accuses attorneys representing those who want zone changes of using selective arguments.

"They get up and say goal 13 says, blah blah blah and that's exactly what we're trying to do .the fact that there's nine other objectives that might not exactly support the position they do not want to share with the commission, but that's standard," said Kay.

Planning director Chris King says the approach to planning is always being examined. He stresses people will get a chance to comment before a proposal is finalized. That's different from years ago.

"The paradigm used to be, the staff did the plan, came down from the mountain top, you know, the public reacted to the whole plan. That was the 60's and 70's version. That didn't work," said King.

Council member Steve Kay suggested using a variety of methods for gauging public sentiment. In addition to public meetings, Chris King says social networking could be incorporated into the process. No dates have been set for public comment.
The planning department's recommendations for the council are expected by the end of the summer.