Lexington 'Cannot Afford To Be Thoughtless And Hasty' With Approval Of Proposed Soccer Complex - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Lexington ‘Cannot Afford To Be Thoughtless And Hasty’ With Approval Of Proposed Soccer Complex

Ashwood Training Center entrance

The following statement was released on Tuesday, July 26, by the below-listed members of the community in Lexington, Ky., in response to the approval for a soccer complex in an agriculture-rural zone which had been home to the Ashwood Training Center on Russell Cave Road.

The site plan has the soccer fields located where the training track sits and near the southeast border of Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's sale grounds. The fields are adjacent to trainer Ken McPeek's Magdalena Farm. The site plan also calls for 750 parking spaces. 

There have been questions about the relationship between the proposed recreational fields and an “anticipated” commercial stadium for a USL League One professional soccer franchise that is coming to Lexington in 2023. Plans for a downtown soccer stadium have fallen through and no new plans have been announced. The site plan does not include a stadium, though the Division of Planning staff said “separation between the uses” (recreational soccer fields and pro stadium) should be more “clearly delineated.” William J. Shively, owner of Dixiana Farm in Lexington, brought the franchise to Lexington. Vince Gabbert, a former vice president at Keeneland, is the soccer franchise president.

As concerned members of the Lexington-Fayette County community that is deeply rooted in our Bluegrass farmland, we urge the Planning Commission to oppose the zoning ordinance text amendments related to the Lexington Sporting Club soccer complex proposal on Newtown Pike that will come to a vote at the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, July 28.

The land-use precedent that was set nearly 70 years ago with the establishment of our Urban Services Boundary has remained intact for a reason: the land in and around the Agricultural-Rural (A-R) zone, and the productive industries that rely on it to fuel our economy, are vital to Lexington.

As parents, business owners, neighbors, sports fans, outdoor enthusiasts, horsemen, restaurant-goers and proud Lexingtonians, we support bringing a professional soccer team and additional youth sports opportunities to this community, but it needs to be done the right way. The Lexington Sporting Club and Anderson Communities' current proposal jeopardizes our livelihoods, our community identity, our economy, and the very reason so many of us chose to lay down our roots in Lexington-Fayette County.

We cannot afford to be thoughtless and hasty in making decisions about a resource as instrumental to our way of life as the land that supports us in countless ways. Allowing intense commercial development in the A-R zone and an outdoor stadium in the nearby Economic Development (ED) zone would mark just the tip of the iceberg; upsetting the delicate balance between rural and urban development that this community has so thoughtfully maintained since 1958 would open the floodgates to similar endeavors. It cannot come to pass. Our productive farmland, which directly contributes $2.3 billion to our economy annually, supports one out of every 12 jobs and is the factory floor of our community and our unique identity. We must protect it at all costs.

We intend to do just that at the Planning Committee meeting at 1:30 pm on Thursday 7/28 and before the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council after that. We urge others to join us in making our voices heard for the sake of the future generations of our community, whose success depends on the responsible stewardship of our finite land.


Airdrie Stud
Ashland Show Stables
Candy Meadows Farm
Castle & Key Distillery
Claiborne Farm
Cobra Farm
Dudley's on Short
Equine Land Conservation Resource
Fayette Alliance
Fayette County Farm Bureau
Hillcroft Farm
Jackpot Farm
Justice Real Estate
Keene Ridge Farm
Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP)
Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA)
Lane's End Farm
Lost Creek Farm
Middlebrook Farm
Milestone Farm
Mt. Brilliant Farm
Mulholland Springs
Spring Meadow Farm
Spy Coast Farm
Stone Farm
Taylor Made Sales Agency
Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA)
Three Diamonds Farm
Winchester Farm
Winter Quarter Farm

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