ADUs – Accessory Dwelling Units – is a hot topic in Lexington.

On Tuesday, September 14th at 5 p.m. a special meeting of the Special Planning & Public Safety Committee Meeting/ ADU Public Hearing​ will take place.

Members of the public will be able to speak and Councilmembers will have the opportunity to hear from Planning staff, ask questions, and discuss this issue.

All Councilmembers will be voting members on the Committee for the sake of this meeting, and ADUs will be the only item on the agenda.

Want to know more? Imagine Lexington​ has lots of information.

Here’s what Susan Bachner wrote in response to a piece on​ about the issue.

“The ‘opinion’ piece in today’s Lexington Herald Leader on the topic of ADU’s by Mr. Garfield has spurred me to sit down and write to you; to put forth a very different “opinion” that highlights the many positive attributes that are both desirable and needed in Lexington. My thoughts reflect my career as an Occupational Therapist (now retired).

The last 20 years of my practice were devoted to helping my clients with medical problems stay at home in supportive environments as well as create solutions with people who wanted to age-in-place.

Implicit in my perspective is the sadness associated with the pandemic and its effect on the older folks who were either ‘stuck’ in their congregate living accommodations under the threat of contagion or those who scrambled to try to find other safer and environments with or near to relatives.

Mr. Garfield seems to use scare tactics in his piece: the threat of multiple unattached buildings on limited land; neighbors with objections having little to no recourse, his suggestion that we would be over-run with unattached ADU structures.

As many people now know, the most likely ADU in Lexington will be one that is in the form of a converted lower level, modified garage or space built over the garage. The home’s footprint would not change. The proposed zoning ordinance text for an ADU limits an unattached structure to 800 square feet.

I am guesstimating the building cost would be around $120,000 so the reality is that it is unlikely that there will be more than a few new structures each year.

Therefore, Mr. Garfield’s implications that unattached ADU’s will pop up in back yards like mushrooms does an incredible disservice to the reality and intent. Further, the Planning Commission assures that only one ADU (unattached) per lot is allowed. And, once approved, an ADU would be subject to enforceable rules that would bring building materials and methods to standard.

My question to the members of the Urban Council is this: How might Lexington best serve the needs of people wanting to age-in-place or people of any age with disabilities and/or others wanting to live safely and comfortably near to relatives or close friends at an affordable price?

The most logical answer is to allow ADUs to move forward by voting yes to the ADU Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment that would allow ADU’s in all residential zones in Fayette County.

Fabricated threats as published in today’s Herald Leader are outrageous and should be called out as such!

Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion. With appreciation, Susan Bachner