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The first question I get asked is, “Why are you running?”


I am running because I offer Real solutions to Real problems.

I am running because I have lived in the 11th district for 20 years, 10 years in school before that, and I see a lot of potential in this district.  More so than any other district in Lexington, and I love a challenge. I have watched so many other areas of Lexington revitalize with reinvestment and renewed interest, yet not so much in the 11th.

I want that to change.  If elected, I want to be a part of a revitalization of the 11th district like no other district in Lexington has seen in a long time.

I didn’t move to this district to run for office. I moved here with my family 20 years ago and stayed because its home. I’ve been here the last 20 years and I’ll be here the next. I have invested my time, my money, and 20 years in this district and I want to see it grow and thrive and prosper.

And I offer a real and genuine plan to do just that.


I offer Real Solutions to Real Problems.


I won’t waste your time or mine with promises and slogans like “new ideas” or “new faces” or similar that have no specifics.  I offer a specific plan for the 11th district.

If you agree, like I do, that a radical re-thinking and plan of action is called for, that is exactly what I propose below.


A Roadmap to Revitalization of the 11th District.


  1. Every Neighborhood in the 11th  should have an active Neighborhood Association (NA) with a contact person/leader and an active and engaged membership. Cost is minimal, time requirement slightly more but still minimal.  Regular meetings with other NA’s, council member, police representatives and other city departments to discuss what is needed and who can make what happen. This should be done by every neighborhood whether residents are primarily homeowners or renters.  I will work with Active NA's and help existing but inactive NA's and help neighborhoods without one set up a new NA and work with all of the 11th district NA's to have regularly scheduled meetings and communications.

  2. Every neighborhood should have their own version of “Adopt-a-Highway” which can be done by residents, NA’s and local businesses.  Clean streets that are free of litter indicate an area that residents care about.  They also indicate that if residents are looking out for litter they are also looking out for other problems.

  3. Every Neighborhood entrance and exit should have permanent signage marking the neighborhood with its name.  Have you seen the retro signage at Southland Drive and Nicholasville Road? It signals permanence and stability.  It signals people care. It signals pride in the neighborhood. It is a sign that things are changing. There are grants and funds for this and the city can contribute, so can private interests, homeowners, landlords, business owners, etc.  We can find the money to pay for it if we want it.  I will begin this process early on with all neighborhoods that would like this and help facilitate the funding.

  4. A regular farmers market in Gardenside along Alexandria Drive.  It is right in the middle between Garden Springs and Cardinal Valley.  It should highlight offerings unique to the ethnicity and population of the 11th District residents. It should stand out from the other local farmers markets, and should be a showcase for food trucks and restaurants unique to the 11th district.

  5. In addition to the annual Latino Festival downtown, the Hispanic population should have a spring and fall  local festival in the Cardinal Valley area. This should highlight the uniqueness of the District and bring those from outside the area into the area to see what we have to offer.  I will work with the local community leaders and stakeholders to make this happen.

  6. The Gardenside and Garden Springs and Cardinal Valley areas should become a dining destination highlighting local restaurants and cuisine.  We should showcase what we have to offer that no other area of Lexington can offer. We should nurture the small businesses that are currently there and help them grow.  Plenty of knowledgeable local leaders and business people would gladly give these small businesses advice and feedback to both start up and to grow.  I will work with all area businesses to form a mini chamber of commerce to collectively advertise the business offerings of the area and promote the area, grow the businesses and help with advertising.  I will put more than 25 years of proven and successful business experience as well as contacts to work for the area.

  7. We need a police substation or a West Sector Roll Call center in the Oxford Circle or Cardinal Valley Area.  A greater police presence is vital early on to help with the rest of this plan. This won’t be needed forever, but it is needed now.  This has been done before in the Gainesway Shopping Center area and most recently in the Eastland Shopping Center.  I will work with the department to actively fight crime and educate the community about how we can make our district safer through a more involved community.

  8. All major intersections  in the 11th should be reworked.  Current plans call for the stretch of Versailles Rd between Mason Headley and Alexandria to start in 2018.  That’s a great start. The others should have a planned makeover on a planned timetable where feasible.

  9. Smaller intersections should have upgraded signage and upgraded stop lights on fixed metal poles rather than ugly hanging wires.  Where possible, lights should be eliminated and traffic circles should be installed. Where medians and intersections are now paved concrete they should be turned back into green spaces with low maintenance plantings and shrubbery for visual appeal.  All middle lanes - where possible - should have partial medians to break up large expansions of asphalt and provide visual appeal.  This will not eliminate turn lanes, it will only break them up in the sections where it can be safely done without affecting traffic flow.

  10. Highlight and enhance the water features of the district and the streams running through Lafayette Parkway, Oxford Circle etc.  These should have walking and bike lanes, new railings and overlooks and landscaping.

  11. Encourage single family home ownership in the 11th and especially the Cardinal Valley area by utilizing several policy tools: I will put more than 25 years of proven and successful business experience building affordable homes and multi-family properties as well as contacts to work for the area.

  12. Obtain low cost financing for home purchases in the areas.

  13. Obtain low cost financing for home renovations that add 50% or greater of the purchase price in renovations.  These should be for specific improvements and should include new roofs, new landscaping, new electric, plumbing, HVAC, kitchens, bathrooms etc.  These can be low or no interest loans, loan forgiveness, capped property tax rates, or a combination. These can be tied to requirements to be owner occupied and live there for a minimum time period to discourage flipping and reward and encourage stability and steady growth.

  14. Protect existing homeowners -  especially those on a fixed income -  who have lived there 5 years or more by capping their property tax rates at a certain percentage annually so as not to displace them.

  15. Low cost/low or no down payment  purchase money financing for Police, EMT, Firefighters - first responders who are willing to live in the district.


Architectural Committee


For the items below, establish an architectural committee made up of professional planning staff employed by LFUCG, neighborhood representatives and professional volunteer architects, landscape architects, and building professionals to come up with a working design standard for the below.  Encourage state of the art LEED and energy efficient design. Encourage a portion to be allocated as affordable housing.


For Large MultiFamily Properties


Encourage equal and greater density so as not to deplete available housing stock but actually increase the total number of units and greenspace.


For owners willing to demolish functionally obsolete properties, they can automatically be allowed to rebuild with twice the number of units with generous exceptions to current zoning, provided aesthetic design standards and modern residential requirements are met.  This will not work for every property, but it will work for many.


Especially Encourage rebuilding of non owner occupied properties with projects designed to sell as condominiums, townhouses and other types of owner occupied properties.


Example: If you have a 12 unit building that is functionally obsolete, you can raze it and rebuild with 24 units.


An even better option is to allow those who own (2) contiguous properties to raze them both, leave one for greenspace and have an even higher density of units.


Example 2: If you have (2) 12 unit buildings that are functionally obsolete, you can raze both and rebuild with 30-36 units if one parcel is kept as greenspace.  This greenspace can also be used in tandem with the new units for pools, tennis courts, walking trails, resident areas, etc.


A percentage of these, even for purchase units, can be designated for affordable housing.


For Large Commercial Properties


Similar to the above for large multi family properties, but encourage higher density of construction.  Tear down the obsolete larger vacant spaces and rebuild as smaller pedestrian friendly and neighborhood friendly spaces with residential on top - similar to what The Summit did with its retail space.  These can be market rent with a portion dedicated to affordable housing, or these can be all for purchase as condominiums etc.


Parking lots should be redesigned so as to have landscape screening and islands and a softer streetscape than just acres of asphalt.


Fast Track the zoning for all of the above.  The city should also designate a redevelopment point person who has the authority to cut through the red tape and speed these projects through from start to finish.


So Who pays for all this?


It will not happen overnight, but it is also not impossible.


It will take city, state and federal money, loans and grants.  It will take private investors, developers and landlords, and charitable organizations.  It will take a radical re-think of current zoning policies. It will take civic engagement from the next council member, from all residents, businesses, landlords and homeowners and renters.  Together, we can make an incredible difference.


Paid for by David Jones for 11th District Council, M. Melinda Karns, Treasurer
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