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Zoning overhaul aims to create more dense, sustainable housing in Lexington

Josh James

A major package of zoning changes is nearing the finish line in Lexington.

The Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment, sometimes called the ZOTA, is designed to allow for more dense, walkable, and environmentally sustainable development.

Just what those changes look like in writing is hard to summarize, but CivicLex’s Adrian Bryant says some of the reforms deal with "allowing more units in a great number of residential zones; it changes the way that some neighborhood business zones operates; allows residential uses on other business zones."

That’s just a sample of some the changes that are part of one of the largest zoning overhauls the city has attempted in decades.

The reforms come amid ongoing concerns about housing costs in the city, rising rents, and the view that Lexington needs to do more to respond to demand.

While city council members voted unanimously in favor of keeping the reforms on track, there have been concerns raised on a number of elements. Adrian Bryant says one has dealt with where to allow drive-thrus – with some expressing worries about pedestrian safety.

But the package appears poised for approval.

The Herald-Leader reports a final vote is expected on June 27.

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.