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Comprehensive Plan Update

The Lexington City Council will hold a virtual public hearing on November 5, 2020 to consider the proposed, updated Lexington Comprehensive Plan 2040 that was drafted and recommended by the Planning Commission.  The draft Lexington Comprehensive Plan can be viewed here and the intent of the public hearing is to allow persons to present their views in response to the proposed draft Lexington Comprehensive Plan 2040.

The City Council public hearing will begin at 8:00 p.m. on November 5, 2020 and will be held through the ZOOM meeting app due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In order to provide your comments live during the advertised public hearing, you must register your attendance by 5:00 p.m. on November 5, 2020 with Jani Hostetter (jhostetter@lexingtonva.gov or 540.462.3700) in order to receive an email invitation to the public hearing.  The public hearing will be broadcast live to the City’s Facebook page, recorded, and then uploaded to the City’s Youtube channel for viewing.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on September, 10, 2020 and approved a resolution recommending approval of the draft Comprehensive Plan with a number of amendments listed in the recommending resolution that can be viewed here.

 The Lexington Planning Commission has led the charge over the past two years to draft a complete update of the Lexington Comprehensive Plan. This plan is ultimately the community’s plan and a virtual public forum was held on June 16, 2020 to provide the public an overview of the draft Comprehensive plan.  The virtual public forum can be viewed on the City's Facebook page and also on the City's Youtube channel. The public was encouraged to ask questions during the virtual public forum and public comments submitted to the Planning Department are included in the comment tracker.

Due to comments received, the Planning Commission decided to revise portions of the Historic Resources chapter and that revised chapter dated July 2, 2020 is also posted to the City's website for public review and comment. 

The appendices of the draft Lexington Comprehensive Plan can be found in a separate document and these appendices will be reformatted to match the remainder of the draft Comprehensive Plan. 

Comprehensive Plan Virtual Forum Presentation: June 16, 2020

Citizen Survey
Community Ideas Board
What's Happened So Far?
How Can I Get Involved?

In early 2018, Lexington began the updating the Comprehensive Plan, a process that will consist of many public meetings and require ample public input over the next year and a half or longer (as long as it takes!). 

What is the Comprehensive Plan?

The Comprehensive Plan is Lexington's most important document regarding growth, development, and change. It establishes government policy to help guide public and private activities as they relate to land use and resource utilization. The Comprehensive Plan is the basis for land development regulations and decisions (rezonings, conditional use permits), capital improvements (schools, parks, libraries), transportation, environmental and historic resource protection initiatives.

Current Comprehensive Plan

Why should I care?

The policies and implementation strategies in the Comprehensive Plan ultimately impact your day-to-day experience in the community. The plan informs our future mobility and travel options, what new development should look like, and how we interact with our social, economic, and natural environments. Whether you love Lexington just as it is, or feel we need change, sharing your voice in the Comprehensive Plan process is one of the most direct ways to influence the future of the community. 

Who decides what goes into the Comprehensive Plan?

The policies and recommendations in the Comprehensive Plan are based on input from the community and City staff. Staff and Planning Commission have spent many hours facilitating conversations, collecting data, and working to understand important issues and shared priorities over the past year. The draft content of the plan is being prepared by City staff and a consultant. Planning Commission plays an integral part of the review process and will later recommend a final draft to City Council for formal adoption.

Community Survey

In the summer of 2018, residents, business owners, property owners, and other stakeholders were invited to fill out our Community Survey. See the results here. In order for the updated Comprehensive Plan to reflect resident and stakeholder wants and needs, the City must collect input. Data collected with the survey will be used anonymously to help structure and prioritize goals of the Comprehensive Plan, and in turn, define Lexington's future for land use and development.

Community Ideas Board

Have a topic or idea that you would like to see addressed in the Comprehensive Plan? Submit your own idea using this form --> click here for the form. Click the board below to see ideas that have been submitted so far. 


What's happened so far? 

  • February 22, 2018: Planning Commission began a discussion with staff on the process for the Comprehensive Plan update. Notes submitted by staff for the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, February 22, 2018 can be viewed here
  • March 8, 2018Kick-Off Workshop was held at Hall of Valor on the campus of VMI. About 50 residents, Planning Commissioners and city staff attended and broke off into small groups to brainstorm how to engage stakeholders as well as issues they wanted to see addressed in the Plan. Many of these ideas and issues are depicted in the image below. Notes from the Comprehensive Plan Kick-Off Workshop on March 8, 2018 can be read here.
  • March 22 & April 24, 2018: Rockbridge Area Conservation Council held a Comprehensive Plan discussion and forum at Lylburn Downing Middle School.
  • April 12, 2018: At their regular meeting, Planning Commission discussed potential community survey questions and layout.
  • April 26, 2018: At their regular meeting, Planning Commission continued to discuss the community survey. Staff also presented an overall Scope and Schedule for the Comprehensive Plan Update. View the Draft Community Survey and the Scope and Schedule.
  • May 22, 2018: Rockbridge Area Conservation Council held a third Comprehensive Plan discussion and forum at Lylburn Downing Middle School. Find out more here. 
  • June 13, 2018: Planning Commission met with Rockbridge County Planning Commission to collaborate and discuss the County's recent Comprehensive Plan update.
  • June 14, 2018: Planning Commission adopted a final Citizen Survey and Scope and Schedule at Planning Commission's regular meeting.
  • Late June 2018: The Community Survey was launched.
  • August 31, 2018: The Community Survey was closed with over 400 responses.
  • September 2018: At their regular meetings, Planning Commission discussed Community Survey results and drafted a Vision statement. Planning Commission also discussed a draft outline for the Comprehensive Plan. Staff conducted Stakeholder Meetings with local organizations (audio here).
  • December 2018: Planning Commission reviewed a Comprehensive Plan Phase 1 Summary Report and plans to begin reviewing draft chapters and assembling focus groups in the new year.
  • *UPDATED* 2019 Tentative Chapter Schedule: A draft of each chapter to the Comprehensive Plan will be presented to Planning Commission in the following order. Planning Commission will apply strategic direction in the form of goals, projects, and action strategies. The public is invited to attend each of the below meetings, which will take place at 5 p.m. in the City Hall Community Meeting Room.

January 24:
Vision and Principles

  February 28:
History and Demographics

  April 25:

  May 9:
Green Infrastructure Focus Group
Land Use

  June 27:
Land Use

August 22:

  September 26:

  October 2019:
Green Infrastructure

  December 2019:
Arts & Culture
Governance & Implementation

  January 2020:
Green Infrastructure

February 2020:
Land Use

  March 2020:
Community Services

  May 2020:
Lexington Draft Comprehensive Plan

How can I follow the process and get involved?

  • Subscribe here to receive news on the update via email.
  • Follow the City on Facebook and Instagram  for updates on the Plan (and other City news). 
  • Attend meetings and provide the City and your Planning Commissioners with your input. If you can't attend in person, feel free to send us an email or give us a call at (540)-462-3704 or aglaeser@lexingtonva.gov.

Have a question? Want to suggest an idea? Call or email us! 
Planning and Development Department: 
Planning Director: Arne Glaeser, aglaeser@lexingtonva.gov
Administrative Assistant: Bonnie Tombarge, btombarge@lexingtonva.gov