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Boundary expansion will move forward, but without Mayor Gorton's signature

Josh James

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton isn’t signing her name to the city’s new policy calling for an expansion of the urban service boundary. But the decision won’t stop the expansion from going forward.

Council members labored for months over a controversial provision in the city’s latest update to the comprehensive plan, which calls for between 2,700 and 5,000 new acres of developable land to be added to the city’s urban service boundary.

Mayor Gorton was never a proponent of the idea, instead reiterating her position that the city continue to rely on a strategy of infill and redevelopment within the existing boundary. Now, she’s leaving her name off the plan, in a mostly symbolic move, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Gorton tells WUKY she objected to the lack of process in the expansion decision.

"There were no guidelines or parameters or plan for triggers or anything like that in terms of how to develop it and how to know that we needed the expansion," she says.

It’s a worry shared by several council members, two of which voted against the plan and a handful of others who cautiously lent their support – saying they hope specific language calling for more affordable housing will help the planning commission, which is now tasked with transforming the plan into recommendations by the end of next year.

Gorton has, however, made it clear that her administration will carry out the will of the council despite her personal opposition.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.