LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Discussions over where to build the Lexington Premier Soccer League stadium continued Tuesday, during a zoning committee meeting.

After plans to build the stadium near Rupp Arena fell through earlier in 2022, property off Russell Cave Road became the next option.

The City’s Board of Adjustment reviewed the contingencies of the proposal that is looking at land off Russell Cave Road where horse training farms have existed for years.

Commercial developer Anderson Communities, Inc. said the stadium’s potential location off Russell Cave Road will boost tourism and be a valuable asset to the youth sporting programs.

Meanwhile, members of Equine Industry said the land should stay within the horse training community, especially because of the legacy it holds.

Dennis Anderson, Owner of Anderson Communities Inc., and the developer for the land off Russell Cave Road said, “We’re just so lucky to have Bill Shively come to Lexington and pay the way. They’re not asking for us to do it, they’re doing it their own. Every other group has asked that the government pay the way for them. And they’re doing this on their own, We’re very fortunate to have them and I hope we can get this right.”

However, the stadium would come at the expense of horse training farms, some that are integral parts of the thoroughbred industry and have a reputation of raising winning horses.

Will Glasscock, director of policy for the Kentucky Equine Education Project, or ‘KEEP’, opposes the proposal and said “The horse industry in Kentucky as an annual $6.5 billion impact on the Commonwealth, and Fayette County is the heart of that. So any effort to allow for something to be used for the agriculture rural zoning area that doesn’t fit agriculture rural could disrupt the economic activity in that area.”

Glasscock also said KEEP is advocating for the land on Russell Cave Road to be stay in the horse farming community, so farmers can access affordable farm land.

“Not all farms are rich, thoroughbred farms,” Glasscock said. “There’s plenty of horse farms that are small and modest, and the more we lose land to rezoning, in instances like this proposal, then the more expensive farm lands become across the region, which limits small farms and family farms.”

With Russell Cave Road being in an Agriculture-Rural zone, members of the equine industry also brought up the ordinances that the stadium would challenge with regard to the lights being installed, the fireworks scheduled after games, and the traffic it would generate.

In response to the traffic concerns, Anderson said, “Traffic is a part of prosperity and growth. The Stadium will create 10% of the amount of traffic a UK football game, or 1/6th of the traffic as a day at Keeneland.”

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