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Lexington Council Rejects Expanded Purchase of Development Rights


Lexington's council has decided not to expand funding for its Purchase of Development Rights program beyond what’s proposed in Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s budget. 

The matter received an up-and-down vote Thursday at City Hall.

The request to borrow an additional $3 million dollars for the program that protects farmland from future commercial development was sought by owners of a 1000-acre farm.  

It would have meant spending about $112,000 in debt service.  In casting a "no" vote, council member Jennifer Scutchfield said tax money is spent for the entire citizenry to enjoy. “This isn’t public land.  This isn’t money that we’re spending so that it becomes green space that we can enjoy, the taxpayer that’s paying for it,” Scutchfield said.

Speaking on behalf of the expansion, 12th District council member Kathy Plomin said people visit Lexington because of rural amenities.  “People do not come to Lexington Kentucky to go to Fayette Mall, to go down and walk on Triangle Park.  They come to Lexington Kentucky because of our rural treasures,” argued Plomin.

A move to amend the requested amount down to $2 million dollars, offered as a compromise by council member Susan Lamb, failed by a 4-11 vote. 

Earlier in the afternoon, council decided to spend $472,000 to hire 12 new paramedics, but rejected funding to complete a second salt storage barn.

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