Sampling of Acknowledged Planning and Zoning Errors

As Lexington's Planning Commission acknowledged in a 1967 report called Neighborhood Analysis for Thirteen Low-Standard Planning Units, Lexington planners had in multiple instances allowed or designated industrial zones in or adjacent to several residential areas that were predominantly African American, including these:

Planning Unit 002: East Second Street: "Incompatible land use mixtures have produced unfavorable conditions for maintaining sound residential areas. In many Instances commercial structures such as warehouses have been constructed close to residences; thus depriving those residences of adequate light and air space. . . . [E]xisting zoning has encouraged the extension of commercial activities into some residential sections of the neighborhood." (This area was 14.8% non-White—using the report authors' language—which reflected the second-lowest non-White percentage of the thirteen neighborhoods.)

Planning Unit 003: East Short Street: ". . . incompatible land uses have helped to make many residences undesirable for human habitation. . . close proximity of the railroad to residences has also had blighting effects . . . In many instances commercial and light industrial uses have been permitted to extend into residential sections." (This neighborhood was 89% non-White.)

Planning Unit 011: North Broadway: ". . . Commercial and industrial use have occurred . . . without adequate buffering to protect adjacent residences. . . [Z]oning has encouraged commercial development especially between West Sixth Street and Luigart and industrial development along Loudon Avenue." (Neighborhood 42% non-White.)

Planning Unit 012: Ohio Street: ". . . the establishment of commercial uses and industrial uses . . . without adequate buffering and open space -- this situation is especially true along Seventh Street and Elm Tree Lane -- has been conducive to structural blight . . . Zoning . . . has also assisted the cause of blight since heavy commercial activities have been permitted without adequate protection to adjacent residences. The proximity of the railroad and its offensive effects have not reduced the hazards of blight." (Neighborhood 41% non-White.)

Planning Unit 015: Constitution: "The mixing of commercial and industrial uses without adequate buffering between residential use has helped to spread blight. This factor is quite evident along East Third Street, Corral Street, and Deweese Street. . . .Zoning has . . . permitted extensions of commercial and industrial uses." (Neighborhood 88% non-White.)

Planning Unit 046: Manchester (Irishtown): "Industrial land uses, commercial uses, and residential uses are intermingled without order or logic. . . . [E]xisting zoning has promoted the extension of commercial uses and industrial uses throughout the neighborhood." (Neighborhood 1.8% non-White.)

The above list is just a sampling. In fact, all of the thirteen "low-standard" neighborhoods had been subjected to improper zoning and incompatible land uses, many of which had the potential to affect residents' health.