Lexington Wants Growth to Be Attractive


July 13, 2008

By TIM FLACH – tflach@thestate.com

The march of commercial development along U.S. 378 east of the town of Lexington toward I-20 is a mixed blessing for Judy Reid.

She appreciates more shopping choices close to her Kenwood neighborhood home.

But she says the commercial footprint of asphalt, stucco and brick is less attractive than the landscape it supplants.

“Lexington reaching this far once was inconceivable,” Reid said. “Now it’s gobbling up anything it can.”

Residents love shopping here, in the heart of Lexington County’s growth. But the talk these days is about managing the way the new development looks — and whether it’s too late for that.

Town leaders tout the stretch from I-20 west to Mineral Springs Road as their Golden Strip because it’s a source of new income. Its focal point is the year-old Lexington Pavilion shopping center anchored by Target.

Leaders, who helped attract the growth with a sewer line along 378, now say they want to control how the growth looks. But critics say it’s too late — that town leaders, who want to nearly quadruple the town’s size, should have thought about appearances a long time ago.

In the past 2½ years, Lexington annexed 49 of 108 tracts along a six-mile stretch of U.S. 378. Leaders want to expand to I-20 on the town’s eastern and southern borders, the Saluda River to the north and Pisgah Church Road to the west.



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