Despite neighbors concerns about traffic and congestion, Lexington is on track for a new, high-end living and shopping complex.
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council approved re-zoning plans Tuesday night for the former Fritz Farm at Nicholasville Road and Man O’ War Boulevard. The unanimous vote came after hours of community questions and feedback.
The land, originally zoned for agriculture use, is now zoned for mix-use community. This re-zoning paves the way for a new, village-style residential and retail development which will be called 'The Summit.'
“It will feature a new urban-development style that's almost like a mini Main Street USA.,” said Bill Lear, a lawyer for Bayer Properties, which is developing the property.
Some concerned neighbors have created the group 'Don’t Overload our Neighborhood with More Traffic.' It is also referred to as 'DON’T' which can also stand for Don’t Overload Nicholasville Road with More Traffic.
DON’T isn’t opposed to developing the land. The group wants to protect the nearby neighborhoods by preventing excess traffic on neighborhood roads and decreasing storm water drainage into the neighborhood.
“We agree this farm needs to be rezoned from an agriculture to a zone that will allow some development,” said Hank Graddy, a lawyer representing DON”T. “We're concerned that this is way too intense. One million square feet of residential and retail is too much for this location.”
Bayer Properties says it has already scaled back its plans from what the land was approved for according the city's comprehensive plan.
“No matter what goes on the property, there's going to be additional traffic. It's 50 acres, everybody understands that.,” said Lear. “What we've attempted to and what the traffic planners have agreed with us, we've attempted to minimize the impact on the neighborhood.”
Bayer Properties already has The Summit locations in Birmingham and Louisville. It plans to be a community people can live, work and shop all within walking distance.
No word yet on when the final development plans will go back to the planning commission for approval. Urban County Planning Commission unanimously voted 9-0 for the plans June 27th.
If all goes as planned, the development is expected to open in the Fall of 2015. Planners say they are in serious discussions with a number of retailers but at this time, can’t say which ones would go into the complex.