LEXINGTON, Kentucky (WTVQ) – The new location for the Lexington Sporting Club soccer stadium received approval Thursday evening from the Lexington Fayette City and County Planning Commission. Its approval has not been without hesitation from some members of the committee and from those living near the Athens-Boonesboro road who live near the proposed site.
“This football stadium belongs to Fayette County,” says planning commissioner Frank Penn. “We can discuss where and how we protect what’s around us and what’s not.”
The current problem area is a 406-acre parcel off Athens-Boonesboro Rd adjacent to I-75. This is where Lexington Sports Club built his third football stadium in Fayette County. First, I requested to be on the grounds across from Rupp Arena, then on farmland between Newtown Pike and Russell Cave Road.
“We never thought of having a stadium here on our own. A long time ago, the Blue Sky Activity Center was established and the area is to be developed,” says Lexington Sporting. Club attorney Steve Ruschel said.
On Thursday, the Lexington Sporting Club applied to relocate the stadium away from Athens Boonsboro so that more facilities such as restaurants, banks, medical clinics and training facilities could all be located on the same property. Some committee members say it makes sense for him to have all this in one place, but they are concerned about the implied implications of the development.
“Personally, I’m concerned that we didn’t find a single tree on over 50 acres of land,” says Robin Michler. “I am struggling with this development plan.”
People in the area surrounding the proposed stadium are worried about the increased traffic and the lights that flood their homes. Supporters counter these concerns by highlighting the conditions facilities follow to mitigate these issues. For example, directing lights to the ground, not allowing games before 7am and after 11pm, installing tree canopies to reduce noise, and installing separate traffic lights in the area.
“In every situation we’ve ever worked with, it’s been a minority of people with a voice that’s a ‘not in my backyard’ type of syndrome, not the community as a whole. Lexington Sporting Club President Vince Gabbert said:
The motion passed the commission and is now being transferred to the Urban County Council.