–LFUCG Division of Sanitary Sewers is making little progress in locating/repairing sewer leaks in urban service area under current growth and infrastructural pressures. LFUCG Sanitary Sewer Oversight Committee, July 11, 2006 –It will cost $117 million or $16,529 an acre to lay sewer lines in proposed 7,000 acre expansion area. Rural Sanitary Sewer Capability Study, 2006
Storm water –Detention and retention basins control flooding and storm water filtration in Lexington. LFUCG Clean Water Task Force, 2006 –City does not currently have enough resources to properly maintain these basins. LFUCG Clean Water Task Force, 2006 –When it rains, basins don’t absorb or filter a lot of water. Have extensive flooding and polluted run-off in neighborhoods. Neighborhood Council, 2006
–Critical these basins work properly because many homes are built in floodplains and on extremely small lots. NOAA Floodplain Survey
–Malfunctioning basins and lack of greenspace in the current urban service boundary, also cause washing-out of creeks and streams.
EPA –We have filed an open records request with the LFUCG Division of Public Works to asses the extent of our violations. LFUCG Division of Public Works, 2006 –According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Louisville is facing around $500 million and Knoxville around $530 to clean up its sanitary sewer, stormwater, and water quality problems. U.S. DOJ Press Release, 7/24/05 –Fayette Countians will be subsidizing these costs via increased user fees and/or increased taxes.
Construction of new infrastructure for expansion areas will divert limited city resources from fixing the current sanitary sewer, stormwater and water quality issues. LFUCG Sanitary Sewer Oversight Committee, Clean Water Task Force, 2006 –Hold line now will direct new growth into current urban service boundary for limited cost.
III. If we don’t expand this go round, we will also preserve our vital agribusiness and agritourism industries in Fayette County.
Let’s talk Fayette County Livestock Sales in 2005 – Keeneland/Fasig-Tipton– Bluegrass Stockyards $855 Million $169 Million Keeneland; Fasig-Tipton; Bluegrass Stockyards
Sales of Major Crops in Fayette County in 2005 TobaccoHay $9.9 Million$3.2 Million USDA Annual Report, 2005
Employment numbers and value of agricultural production and processing in Fayette County. EmployeesGross Product Generated 8,542$803 Million –Includes farms and ancillary industries, i.e. veterinary services, feed stores, etc. Dr. Timothy Woods, Agri-business Task Force Study, 2005 –The Employee withholding tax and payroll tax are major revenue sources for the city. American Farmland Trust, “The cost for Community Services in Lexington-Fayette County Kentucky”, 1999; LFUCG Dept. of Revenue, 2006
–LFUCG Dept. of Revenue does not know the amount of tax revenues generated by Fayette County Agribusiness or its related industries. LFUCG Dept. of Revenue, 2006 –All in all, agriculture has over a $2 billion impact on the regional economy. Dr. Timothy A. Woods, Agri-business Task Force Study, 2005
Agritourism is also a major component of Fayette County Agriculture. – Over 60% of tourists come to Lexington to see its farms. The Lexington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, 2006 – These activities generate over $1 billion to the regional economy. The Lexington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, 2006
–Jobs and tax revenues generated by tourism in Fayette County. Local Tax Receipts $14.6 Million Local Jobs 13,130 The Lexington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, 2006
–If we hold the line on expansion at this time, the agriculture/agritourism businesses - a $3 billion industry in Fayette County will thrive, and in turn preserve our cultural heritage and sense of place. Public’s favorite thing about Lexington is its surrounding landscape. LFUCG Division of Planning Comp. Plan Survey, Spring 2005
–According to local farmers, urban sprawl and local politicians’ lack of appreciation for the industry are biggest challenges facing farmers today. Dr. Timothy A. Woods, Agri-business task Force Study, 2005 –Land proposals for inclusion into the urban service boundary are located in core agricultural areas of Fayette County. LFUCG Division of Planning, 2006
Current course ensures further endangerment of already threatened cultural rural landscape. –In 2005, the World Monument Fund designated the inner Bluegrass Region as one of the most 100 endangered sites in the WORLD. The Lexington Herald Leader, “A Case for Preservation”, June 22, 2005 –Let’s hold the line and make a definite commitment to the urban service area concept and our irreplaceable Bluegrass.
IV. Saying no to expansion will mandate a more efficient and collaborative use of our land in the USA. Today we have enough vacant land in the urban service area to support 9 years of residential growth, 17 years of industrial growth, and 10 years of commercial growth. LFUCG Division of Planning, Vacant Land Analysis, 2006
We also have countless areas of blight and run-down properties that need re-development. –We have room to grow, and holding the line will promote development by collaboration - not confrontation.
–Follow lead of Nashville and Greenville. Institute an urban land use plan wherein land outside of downtown and inside the 1996 expansion area is examined for potential infill/redevelopment projects. Bluegrass Tomorrow, 2006 –Governed by a diverse board of urban interests. –This plan would dovetail into comprehensive plan, like the Expansion Area Masterplan and the rural Land Management Plan, etc.
Urban land use plan concept will create many benefits for Lexington, including: –Efficient use of land taken out of agricultural production. –Protect primary economic engine in Lexington- agribusiness and tourism. –No clear-cut correlation between construction of Fayette County homes, and job growth in Fayette County. Commerce Lexington, 2006
–Re-define notion of capacity in Lexington. With good planning, we can accommodate more people per square mile without “crowding”, i.e. Charleston. Many of Lexington’s subdivisions feel crowded because of poor layout, I.e. Hamburg. Sprawl does exist in the urban service boundary.
–Continue rebirth of urban core that was started by $311 million downtown revitalization. Downtown Development Authority, 2006
–Address issue of racial disenfranchisement due to urban sprawl. Dr. John Powell, “Lafayette Seminar”, Gaines Center for the Humanities, 2006
–Explore real options for affordable housing. On average Lexingtonians make $34,242/year U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis The average sales price for a new single family home is $166,214. Lexington-Bluegrass Association of realtors, 2006 The average sales price for a new townhome is $119,838. Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors, 2006
–Building up - not out will improve air quality in Lexington. Give mass transportation/LexTran a chance.
Without question, Lexington has much to gain by growing up, not out. Let us not kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
Knox van Nagell The Fayette Alliance 330 E. Main Street, Ste. 300 Lexington, KY