LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kicking off this fall: youth soccer with the Lexington Sporting Club, Lexington’s newest professional sports team. The club’s president says 1,400 kids are already signed up and excitement is building across the city as the professional season is set to start next spring.
But some people have concerns about the club’s plans for a sports complex on the city’s Northside. The Lexington Sporting Club wants to build a 12-field soccer complex, with 750 parking spots, and a nearby stadium on 150 acres located in between Newtown Pike and Russell Cave Road, near the interstate. Anderson Communities applied to change the zoning of the land so the complex can be built.
Zoning for the land where the soccer fields and parking lot would be built is currently listed as Agricultural-Rural. The non-profit Fayette Alliance has expressed concerns over the long-term consequences of changing the zoning for that land. They say the project would bring too much traffic, noise, and light, potentially harming horse farms and other agriculture operations in the area.
“Hundreds and hundreds of kids and families that will be in and out of this space in an area that is sensitive,” said Brittany Roethemeier with the Fayette Alliance. “And what kind of precedent that sets for the future, what kind of commercial uses are we going to see in the future, in our most sensitive rural area?”
On the flip side, the majority owners of the soccer team also own Dixieana Farm and say they want to be good neighbors. Public access to the site would be located off Newtown Pike at Providence Place Parkway.
“We've been working diligently with the planning, and the zoning, making sure we've got the right facilities,” said Vince Gabbert, the president of the Lexington Sporting Club.
While they disagree over zoning, both sides agree they want soccer to succeed in Lexington. They’ll learn the outcome of the soccer fields on Tuesday when the Urban County Board of Adjustment meets at 1:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.
The land for the pro stadium will also need a zoning change, which will be decided in July.
“Right now we feel like the approval of this project is so premature, because of the nature of this project,” said Roethemeier. She told LEX 18 she’s hoping for more details and transparency.
But the Lexington Sporting Club says they believe they’ve done everything right so far.
“We have a professional sports team coming to town, and we really need the infrastructure to support that,” said Gabbert.
Fayette Alliance is asking people who feel strongly about the land to get involved. You can find more information from them here.