Progress vs. Preservation: challenges with Lexington’s growing population

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Driving through Lexington you’ll notice the streets are busier, more houses being built and older homes renovated. Lexington native, councilman james brown has lived it.

“What we’re focused on is seeing what we can do to protect the most vulnerable in these neighborhoods where transition has taken place,” Brown said.

Transitions like being forced to move in the name of progress…Which comes at a cost.

Brown chairs the city’s Task Force on Neighborhoods in Transition.

It’s working to come up with recommendations like new ordinances to better protect renters from having their home sold out from under them and possibly adding more money to the affordable housing fund, which helps people find affordable housing. Something critics say the city doesn’t have enough of.

He says the issue of gentrification, rebuilding and redevelopment, isn’t new, but he’s hoping getting people talking will help. Including people trying to build.

“They have worked to be inclusive of the community and have catered some of their business to be more neighborhood friendly and neighborhood conscious,” he said.

For example, North Lime Donuts and Coffee. While it might be known for its high-end specialty donuts, it also offers one dollar donuts. To cater to the economic makeup of the neighborhood.

“We take a little bit of a margin hit on some of our products just so everyone can come in and feel welcome and afford to be a part of that,” Joe Ross, one owner of North Lime, said.

Something Brown says is a move in the right direction.

The task force’s meetings are open to the public if you are interested in voicing your concern or are interested in offering any recommendations.

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