"The Most Livable County in Kentucky"

May 2004

Undergraduate Students
Steve Allen, Edmon Asbury, Kristen Baker, Phillip Canfield, Molly Clendenin, Ivy Clinton, John Gaines, Cindy Johnson, Emalee Listerman, Kelley Parker, Jonathan Perkins, Carrie Read, John Sexton VII, David Singler, Emi Sugg, Harry Troup II, Andy Watson, Eric Williamson, Chris Ziaja

Project Statement
At the invitation of Oldham County Judge Executive Mary Allen Kinser, this project was initiated with the intent to provide Oldham County with a fresh vision for Oldham County land use that would reflect the values of local stakeholders. The project was driven by an interactive planning process, encouraging stakeholders to voice opinions, desires, goals and concerns which would become the foundation for the Oldham County Land Use Vision, and serve as a tool for becoming "The Most Livable County in Kentucky."

Project Narrative
The areas of focus for the Oldham County Land Use Vision were defined at the first of three public meetings. These meetings were integral to the success of the project; as they were utilized to establish an ongoing dialogue between county stakeholders and the students. University of Kentucky Sociology Professor, Dr. Lori Garkovich, served as facilitator at the meetings and presented a series of open ended questions to help guide the residents in expressing their own vision for the future of the county. The values for the future of the county were expressed by the stakeholders as:

1. Preserving open space and rural character 
2. Controlling residential growth and development
3. Providing more county employment opportunities
4. Preserving historic qualities of specific towns and the county as a whole.

With these values in mind, the students returned to the studio to refine an extensive inventory of Oldham County resources including history, demographics, economics, physical features, transportation, infrastructure, and land uses. An analysis of the findings from this landscape inventory was coupled with analysis of the stakeholder values inventory and utilized to generate concepts for a series of preliminary plans and designs. These ideas were presented and discussed at Meeting 2, where stakeholders provided additional input and direction for the final phase of the project. During this final phase, the students refined concepts and ideas, plans and designs, and also generated recommendations and implementation strategies which were presented in Meeting 3.

While the active role of the Department of Landscape Architecture ended here, the involvement of the stakeholders of Oldham County had only begun. To ensure that their values are kept foremost as the county grows and develops, Oldham County stakeholders must embrace the planning process and remain involved. An important component of the planning process that the students hoped to convey with this project is the understanding that successful planning cannot be accomplished as a single event. The process the students utilized throughout the course of this project is one of the tools the community should use to address issues of development and preservation in the future.

The specific project recommendations in this report are intended to stimulate interest, build consensus, and become the foundation for garnering financial support. With the careful use and management of its resources, we believe that Oldham County can become one of the most livable communities in Kentucky.

Project Files:

Oldham Final Book