Motion for soccer field project advances

lexington pro soccer field.jpg
Posted at 8:49 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 13:09:41-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A private plan to build 12 soccer fields on what is currently a horse training facility is one step closer to reality.

The City of Lexington Board of Adjustment passed a motion granting conditional approval during a hearing Tuesday.

One member of the board voted against granting the approval. The current horse farm is zoned agricultural-rural, which means it needs some special approvals. The soccer stadium the Lexington Sporting Club also wants to build next door is zoned differently.

Some people are concerned the project could set a precedent that opens the door to more development in agricultural areas and could negatively impact nearby horse farms.

Most people who spoke at the meeting were against the project, which would also bring a 750-spot parking lot. The Fayette Alliance asked their supporters to come and voice their disapproval of the project. Public comment lasted hours.

The soccer fields would be accessed from Providence Place Parkway, which is connected to Newtown Pike, and will eventually connect to Russell Cave Road.

It sits on what is currently the Ashwood Training Center. A horse trainer on the site told us before the hearing they have two days to vacate.

To mitigate the impact on area properties, the club agreed to build a 50-foot buffer with trees between the fields and other properties.

Opponents of the plan argued it would eliminate more valuable soil, part of what makes the bluegrass so good for horses. Developers claimed it had been stripped away on the property years ago to build the current racetrack and facility.

The Lexington Sporting Club penned a message of applause for the Board and reassurance to surrounding neighbors who may disagree with the approval.

"We agree with the decision made today and applaud the Board of Adjustment for considering the positive impact of this project, which is much needed to support the infrastructure of our robust youth academy.

More than 1,400 kids are registered with our youth club, making this decision not only an impactful one for hundreds of families, but necessary to give those kids adequate field space not found elsewhere in Lexington. This site allows us to meet that demand in one centralized location with the added benefit of having all age groups and teams at the same venue.

Agriculture is paramount in Central Kentucky, and we are fully committed to being worthy neighbors to the community and stewards of the site itself."

Multiple people argued the developers should build their project elsewhere, closer to the city's urban core, but developers said the space didn't exist in the quantity they'd need it.