LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 24, 2018) – This morning, Vice Mayor Steve Kay and Councilmember James Brown announced the creation of the Task Force on Neighborhoods in Transition.
The group, comprised of Urban County Councilmembers, city developers, planners, historians, residents and other community members, will meet monthly to discuss the complicated topics of infill and redevelopment, preservation and gentrification. The Task Force will also attempt to identify ways to protect vulnerable residents from the impact of neighborhood redevelopment and transformation.
“The Task Force will serve as a complement to the work of the Infill and Redevelopment Committee and the Affordable Housing Office as we address the challenges of growth within our finite boundaries,” Kay said. “We do not want to become a community where the people who provide our basic services are unable to afford to live here.”
Over the course of their work, Kay said the Task Force will work to identify existing resources, educate residents about homeownership and renting, foster relationships with residents and developers, identify ways to protect the history of communities, and develop policies or programs that support residents and neighborhoods.
“As a community focused on infill, local government has a responsibility to protect vulnerable residents and promote equity in our neighborhoods as they experience growth and redevelopment,” Brown said.
The members asked to serve on the Task Force were selected based on their historical knowledge of Lexington’s neighborhoods, planning and development experience, as well as their commitment to the residents within these neighborhoods. Some of the Task Force members include Ed Holmes of EHI Consultants, University of Kentucky history professor Dr. Gerald Smith, Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator David O’Neill and urban planner Stan Harvey.
“People generally measure the quality of life in our city by the quality of life in their neighborhood,” Mayor Jim Gray said. “Each Lexington neighborhood is unique, with unique concerns. This Task Force will focus on addressing many of those concerns.”
The Task Force will begin meeting in July, and will continue its work until it is ready to give a full report and make recommendations to the Urban County Council and other entities such as the Planning Commission.