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Lexington Council modifies zoning eligibility for certain retail drive-throughs

Stu Johnson

The Lexington City Council has acted to prohibit retail drive-throughs in a particular commercial zone. It came through an amendment to the urban growth management plan.

Council voted Tuesday to remove “collector” streets for future drive-through locations under conditional use eligibility in B-1 zones. In supporting the modification, Council Member Hannah LeGris said it falls in line with pedestrian protection efforts.

“This change automatically creates a better and safer situation for people who are traversing the B-1 zone which is a neighborhood-business zone on foot or via bike or via public transportation,” said LeGris.

LeGris said it makes it less likely to have a point of collision with a vehicle entering or leaving a drive-through.

In making the motion, Council Member Liz Sheehan also talked about pedestrian safety, citing two pedestrian accidents in the last week, one of which was a fatality.

Council Member Preston Worley was one of two members voting no. He said retailers had already agreed to compromise on placement options.

“The idea was that these uses would not be in a neighborhood zone unless they were able to show to the Board of Adjustment that that particular arterial or collector was an appropriate place for a drive-through that would not affect neighborhood uses,” said Worley.

The B-1 zone can include both commercial and residential areas.

Council Member Sheehan said the change would not impact existing drive-throughs in this zone or those already approved in a development plan.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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