[e-mailed to membership 7-4-2021]
July 4, 2021
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!! The primary purpose of this email is to remind you of the upcoming FCNC general meeting on Monday, July 12, and to urge you to attend:
Fayette County Neighborhood Council (FCNC) IN PERSON General Meeting
TOPIC: Should Lexington Change Zoning Ordinances to Allow Second Dwellings on Single-Family Lots Citywide?
6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 12, Tates Creek Christian Church, 3150 Tates Creek Road. Enter from Albany Road and drive to the far back corner of the building.
Because of the importance of the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) topic to neighborhoods, we want to offer here the background of the issue: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed ADU ordinance (to allow second dwellings on single-family lots — a complete, independent apartment or backyard house) has been stalled for over a year. With in-person public comment now having been restored to LFUCG Council meetings, FCNC expects a series of public meetings and a final vote sometime after August 10, 2021, when the Urban County Council returns from its summer break. The current version of the draft ordinance passed the LFUCG Planning Commission on October 21, 2019 and went to Council for action. It is now in the Council’s Planning and Public Safety Committee (PPS) for review. From there it will go to the full Council for more discussion and the final decision. The Planning Division’s ADU web page offers more background detail, including a diagram/info sheet showing key features of the proposal, slide presentations recommending its adoption, and video links to earlier hearings (embedded in the “Notable Dates”).
Our aim at the FCNC meeting is to set out the issues that need addressing, to prioritize them, and to organize effective communication with our neighbors, our Council members, and the general public before the final hearing and vote. The proposed ordinance would allow the construction of an ADU without any public (including neighborhood) notice or input, very limited enforceable standards, and an increase in the number of allowable unrelated occupants on single-family lots. ADUs would be allowed on lots or subdivided lots used for single-family dwellings in all residential zones except R-5 (high rise apartments), and there would be no minimum lot size. Some of you have received promotional material saying that ADUs would benefit senior citizens and people with disabilities, and we will discuss these ideas at the meeting as well.
Time line: We do not know when the Planning and Public Safety Committee will take up ADUs again. We will notify you immediately upon learning the schedule. PPS routinely posts its agenda on Friday afternoon for a 1:00 p.m. meeting the following Tuesday. PPS meets on the second Tuesday of each month.
What you can do: The ADU Ordinance is a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment (ZOTA) and not a zone change, so you can legally discuss it with your district Council Member and the three Council Members-at-Large.
I am looking forward to greeting many neighbors on July 12. Anyone wishing to wear a mask may of course do so, and we will try to accommodate any request for social distancing. We ask that anyone not fully vaccinated wear a mask. Note that the starting time for the meeting has been moved to 6:30 p.m. (Previous general meetings have started at 7:00.) We will try to have an efficient meeting, and we welcome differing opinions and priorities for issues and the addition of new issues. We will be posting information regarding ADUs on fcnc.org and will notify you as appropriate. Expect additional correspondence from FCNC this month.
Walt Gaffield, President
Fayette County Neighborhood Council, Inc.