Winchester and Clark County will be under tremen­dous pres­sure for at least the next decade, a pres­sure to accom­mo­date the pop­u­la­tion growth tak­ing place in cen­tral Kentucky.

The price of hous­ing in near­by Lexington has sky­rock­et­ed and the places for growth to take place in Fayette County are scarce due to the urban devel­op­ment dis­trict there.

The cor­ri­dor between Lexington and Nicholasville has become lit­tle more than an exten­sion of both cities with lit­tle devel­opable land still avail­able along that cor­ri­dor.  Of course, growth con­tin­ues in Jessamine County, most of it in the west and south.

Home construction

Georgetown and Scott County are also expe­ri­enc­ing rapid growth and are reach­ing a point where that growth will inevitably slow until the nec­es­sary infra­struc­ture catch­es up.

And growth into Bourbon County may well be far into the future because of lim­it­ed infra­struc­ture and the pre­pon­der­ance of valu­able horse farms which lie between Bourbon and Fayette.

All these fac­tors pret­ty much leave only Clark County as the pres­sure relief valve for growth out of Fayette County and those pres­sures can already be seen quite vivid­ly, includ­ing the ongo­ing devel­op­ment east of Hamburg.

A dri­ve along Combs Ferry Road will find a num­ber of new homes going up near the Pine Grove area.

At the cor­ner of Water Works Road and Clintonville Road, three homes are under con­struc­tion, and as one approach­es Winchester on McClure Road, land is being cleared along that road direct­ly across from The Ridings and a new sub­di­vi­sion is under devel­op­ment across from the already-filled McClure Manor.

Several homes are under con­struc­tion on Colby Road west of Venable Road and it appears that land in that area has been cleared with some lots already sold off.  Pressure along Colby will con­tin­ue due to its prox­im­i­ty to Fayette County and the fact that build­ing and land costs are cheap­er here than there.

There has been dis­cus­sion about expand­ing the water and sew­er infra­struc­ture along the U.S. 60 approach to Winchester from Fayette County and there should be lit­tle doubt that such an improve­ment will facil­i­tate res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion there, as well as improve the waste­water dif­fi­cul­ties that have plagued Verna Hills almost since its inception.

Construction con­tin­ues apace in the area behind Kroger Plaza.  Development in this area will even­tu­al­ly demand access from Colby Road, exac­er­bat­ing traf­fic prob­lems there.

A large res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment has been approved on Boonesboro Road just east of the new Boonesboro Trail Senior Living Center, a devel­op­ment which, if it pro­ceeds accord­ing to cur­rent plans, will con­tain more than 150 residences.

The city of Winchester has, for a very long time, missed out on the oppor­tu­ni­ty to annex devel­op­ing parcels into the city and those which are abut­ting exist­ing prop­er­ties with­in the city lim­its should be incor­po­rat­ed before any devel­op­ment begins in order to assure the log­i­cal and rea­son­able expan­sion of ser­vices required for those developments.

There are, obvi­ous­ly, both good and bad aspects of growth and devel­op­ment.  On the one hand, the feel of “small-town America” will fade.  Maybe that’s inevitable and we must all learn to live with it and adapt to it.

On the oth­er hand, there is the like­li­hood that the new fam­i­lies com­ing here will inject new ideas and new vig­or into the com­mu­ni­ty and they, too, must adapt to what already exists here and help to make it even better.

  • Chuck Witt

    Chuck is a retired archi­tect, a for­mer news­pa­per colum­nist, and a life­long res­i­dent of Winchester.