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MNA Fall Meeting and Election of Board

Wednesday October 28th 7pm Ashland Elementary

This is the meeting where we elect officers, review the year and make plans for the next. If you want to volunteer or have items to discuss please attend. A brief agenda:

Director reports 
Last year wrap up 
Next year plans 
Election of board 
Several MNA Board members, who have served our community so well and with such passion for the past ten years have decided to step down. President Lewis Gardner, Vice President Ron Mitchell and Director Tom Lillich are leaving. Liz Reucroft our Secretary from the beginning is staying. Change is in the air! The MNA Nominating Committee (Larry Porter, Liz Reucroft, Vivian Coles, Holly Salisbury, and Beverly Fortune) have actively sought candidates for the MNA offices and committee directorships. As of October 17th candidates are:
Ann Oliges (President)
Shelley Fortune (President)
Linda Worley (Vice-President)
Liz Reucroft (Secretary)
Richard Coles (Treasurer)
Tom Eblen (director, Special Projects committee)
Caryn Huber (director, Social committee)
Shelby Reynolds (director)
Bethany Baxter (director)
Anyone else interested in serving the community as an officer or director should contact Larry Porter or simply self-nominate at the meeting. Some details still have to be worked out so please check back here for the latest information. This will be an important meeting in the direction the MNA is headed so please make plans to attend.

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Kentucky American Water Company donation

In appreciation of the patience and support the Mentelle Park neighbors and the MNA gave the water company during their year long water main replacement we received a check for $1,500. The check is to be used for landscaping and beautification efforts on Mentelle Park. Some of the funds will be used soon to supplement normal MNA street tree funds to place three larger trees in the median.

The letter can be viewed here: Letter

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National Station

The new owner of property at the intersection of Richmond and National Avenues where Truck parts and Equipment used to be located is planning a new development called National Station. The former home to a large quantity of road tested truck parts is planned to have 27 new flex space units in addition to the two existing metal warehouses. The flex space units will mostly be around 2,000 square feet and are designed for small service type businesses. Planned architectural features include stone walls and design reflecting the prior use of the area as a railroad station. I met the the new owner Tom Jones and what he has planned looks like another step forward for our area. Mr Jones will be at Kenwick's meeting on Tuesday July 25 if you would like to get more information.

There are two zoning variances required for the development plan as it exists. One is a rezone of 334 Richmond Ave for a parking lot and the other is reductions in setback on rear property lines.

Development and zoning documents plans are here: National Station Documents

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Warehouse Block Party!

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Historic Marker Application

Holly Salisbury and crew put together a dynamite application for the historic marker on Mentelle Park. Give it a read here: Historic Marker Application

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Warehouse Block

Walker Properties anounced the name for their redevelopment of properties in our neighborhood, Warehouse Block on May 28th. Tom Eblen explains it better than I can in his blog The Bluegrass and Beyond:

"The mixed-use business district Walker Properties has been developing in a former industrial area along National Avenue has a new name: Warehouse Block.

The family-owned company announced the name, which was voted on by tenants, at a news conference Thursday. The name and a new logo will be used in signage and other branding for the district.

Warehouse Block has a diverse mix of tenants in its renovated buildings. The New York Times featured the development in a story earlier this year as an outstanding example of adaptive reuse and urban redevelopment.

“It’s not every day that Lexington gets in the New York Times,” Mayor Jim Gray said. “What the Walkers have done is a perfect example of creative place-making.”

Randy Walker, an electrical contractor, said he started buying and renovating buildings along National Avenue three decades ago, “at a time when the neighborhood was barely nice enough to be sketchy. Coming from the construction industry, I couldn’t stand letting these buildings go un-maintained and unused.”

Walker Properties worked with city planners to revise zoning codes to allow a return to the way cities used to before the mid-20th century trend of strict segregation of land uses. The company is now run by his sons, Greg and Chad.

Greg Walker said the Warehouse Block has been about much more than renovating old buildings. “We and our clients and tenants are building a community,” he said.

Walker said the company will sponsor the first Warehouse Block party Aug. 21. National Avenue will be closed off for live music and food vendors."

- Tom Eblen, Lexington Herald Leader

Randy, Greg and Chad Walker pose for Tops photographer with the new logo.

The elements that make up the logo.

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"Sportsman" Renovations

Many have asked about what was happening with the former Sportsman Liquor store property. Some have noticed that there is a Walker Properties job site trailer and fencing up on the property. I can share a concept drawing and say that it will be an eatery. Besides those two things there isn't much info yet. Be aware that concept drawings are just that, concepts and what ends up being built can vary substantially. But in any case it's excited to see something more architecturally exciting rather than less and certainly better than an empty building.

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Fall Happenings

*** Picnic on the Median - Sept 21st, 5pm

We'll stage the event on and near the median at the Cramer end of Mentelle Park. We have applied for a permit to close off one lane of Mentelle Park along the last median during the picnic. The Mentelle Neighborhood Association will provide light beverages, brats & hot dogs, buns, condiments, and tableware.

We ask that each family bring the following to share. If your family last name begins with:

A - G, bring a dessert H - M, bring a salad N - Z, bring a veggie item

*** Home Tour - Sept 28th, 1pm

The tour starts at the Children's Advocacy Center, 162 N. Ashland Ave, where tour booklet/tickets are available for $10 per person. After that is is up to you how many and what order you, or your group, want to visit the 9 locations.

1.  Beverly & Bill Fortune - 714 Bullock Place
2.  Christian Erickson - 704 Bullock Place
3.  Allison Buckley - 7 Mentelle Park
4.  Becky & Tom Eblen - 52 Mentelle Park
5.  Beth Lowe - 40 Mentelle Park
6.  Sharon Kopye & Alan Nadel - 56 Mentelle Park
7.  Ester Hurlbert & Mike Mullinix - 309 Given Ave.
8.  Centered, Dry Art, Squeeze - 309 N. Ashland Ave.

Advertising is still available in the tour booklet. Please contact Elaine Cook, elainecookharp@gmail.com, for details.

A Facebook community page titled Mentelle Neighborhood Association Home and Garden Tour is being set up. If you do the fbook thing please like it! Have your friends like it! We like liking!

For more information or to assist please contact Beth Lowe, blowe25@hotmail.com, and BE SURE to invite your friends to the neighborhood for this event!

*** Fall Meeting - Oct 15th, 7pm

The meeting where we elect officers, review the year and make plans for the next will be Oct 15th, 7pm at Ashland Elementary. If you want to volunteer or have items you wish to discuss please make plans to attend.

Summer Happenings

*** Aurora Fest 2013 – August 17

Join us on Saturday August 17th for the annual block party in the 700 block of Aurora Ave. Family centered activities begin at 3:30pm with the opening of the water slide, followed at 5pm when Lexington's finest will bring their fire truck and show us the equipment these first responders use.

Festivities continue to 9:30pm with street games, races, competitions and live music. So, pack up the family, bring a favorite dish to share, and be prepared to bid on several items donated by neighborhood businesses to help defray the costs of the block party.

Monetary contributions are welcome and can be made to: Aurora Fest/MNA 118 N. Hanover Ave. Lexington, Ky. 40502

*** Picnic on the Median - April 25

Join us on Sunday, Aug. 25, for our annual picnic on the median.

The picnic will begin at 4 p.m. on the Mentelle median, Cramer end. The Mentelle Neighborhood Association will provide brats, hot dogs, buns, condiments, plates, cups, utensils, and light beverages. We ask that you bring the following:

Household last names beginning:

A – C appetizers/chips/dips

D – J fruit or salads

K – P veggies/casseroles

R – Z desserts

In the event of inclement weather, the picnic will be rescheduled and notification will be sent by e-mail, by 2 p.m., to all who have an email address on file with the Association. If you want to be added to the email list, send to president@mentelle.org.

Spring Happenings

*** Tom Eblen exhibit, April 19 5-8pm

MNA member and neighbor Tom Eblen will have an exhibit on Friday April 19 from 5-8 pm as part of the Gallery Hop. See his exhibit Gallery Hop@Hunt-Morgan House: The Bluegrass Beyond: Travel Photography by Tom Eblen.

*** CAC Open House - April 20 at 2-7pm

A new neighbor in the MNA is the Children's Advocacy Center on North Ashland. They will have a public Open House on April 20 at 2 pm and serve refreshments/allow touring of the renovated interior.

While the MNA was opposed to the zone change we were never opposed to the work of the Children's Advocacy Center or their occupancy of these buildings in our neighborhood. Please come out and offer a welcome and see the nice work they have done for their new home.

*** Kenwick Community Garden - April 27/28

The Kenwick Neighborhood Association will build a community garden at the back end of Victory Christian Church (corner of Owsley and Cramer) on Saturday April 27th from 1-4 pm and plant the garden vegetables on Sunday April 28th from Noon to 2 pm (starting with a nature/planting dedication by Victory Christian Church). Please join our neighbors in volunteering for this project.

The MNA is donating $100 to assist in this project.

*** Median Update

The Mentelle Neighborhood Association has completed its city Neighborhood Action Match Grant for the improvement of the Mentelle Medians and received the full 100% match of about $2200. The two year grant was for the improvement of the Mentelle medians, including removal of overgrown shrubs and diseased or dead trees. We planted 11 new trees and completed landscaping on the 4th median. Thanks to all that participated!

Rezone documents

  • Deed Restrictions - FINAL
  • Council Hearing Documents
  • Planning Commission Minutes
  • Development Plan
  • Deed Restrictions

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    Well, we lost...

    The vote was 5-2 to approve the zone change.

    It is going to take a few days to get all the information and be sure what effect of some of the last minute changes to the rezone will have. So at this point I'll be brief, and numeric.

    1. Restrictions were added to assure that the size and type of structures on those three properties will remain the same.

    2. It was a difficult decision by the commission and I believe the record will reflect that this rezone not be something that anyone would want to use for a future request.

    3. I was very pleased by the turnout and the comments by Gil Dunn and Stephanie Spires. Thanks to all of you that turned out. I would have bee a lot more difficult for me without you.

    4. We have some great new people to welcome to our neighborhood. I'm sure both the Children's Advocacy Center and Jill Rose will be good neighbors and an asset to the community.

    5. The petition drive was a great success. Seven circulators went to 371 residences and collected 203 signatures in 4 days. It was quite an effort and thanks to the circulators and all those that signed or took the time to open the door.

    6. I was very proud to represent our neighborhood. I hope your faith in me was not misplaced in this effort. While we didn't prevent the rezone I think we did make our point and pressure last minute changes that will benefit the neighborhood in the long run. Please help me in welcoming our new neighbors and hopefully channeling the effort expended into a better neighborhood for all.

    Thanks - Lewis

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    TODAY is the DAY!

    We are going to proceed with the hearing today, October 27. Since our lawyer had to withdraw it is even more important that we have as many people as possible in the room.

    The hearing is at 1:30pm in the Council Chambers, 200 E Main St. The entrance is on Main St to the left of the MLK viaduct. You have to go through security on the first floor which takes some time, bring ID. There is a sign in sheet in the back of the Council Chambers, please sign in.

    The hearing starts at 1:30 and we are first on the attached agenda. There are a few procedural items first but I would imagine things would be in full swing by 1:45-2:00. Here is the procedure:

     • Staff Reports (30 minute maximum)
     • Petitioner’s report(s) (30 minute maximum)
     • Citizen Comments
       (a) proponents (10 minute maximum OR 3 minutes each)
       (b) objectors (30 minute maximum) (3 minutes each)
     • Rebuttal & Closing Statements
       (a) petitioner’s comments (5 minute maximum)
       (b) citizen objectors (5 minute maximum)
       (c) staff comments (5 minute maximum)
     • Hearing closed and Commission votes on zone change petition and related plan(s)

    Our comments occur in the places marked (b). Besides myself Gil Dunn and Sara Hall have volunteered to speak.

    I will address the nature of our neighborhood, our neighborhood association, the petitions, some history and our objections.

    Gil will address the nature of Ashland Avenue and the desirability of residential neighborhoods near downtown.

    I haven't heard what Sara wants to address but I'm sure it will be good.

    I am posting most of this email, the agenda, staff report and variance report at www.mentelle.org just in case you want to review.

    I'm confident that we have a good shot at success but it is vital we have as many bodies as possible in the room. Even if you can only stop by for a short time and sign the sheet in the back of the room it should help.

  • Planning Commission Staff Report
  • Variance Report
  • Agenda
  • Mentelle Median Newsletter

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    MNA votes to oppose rezoning.

    At the Mentelle Neighborhood Association general meeting on Tuesday October 18th those assembled voted to oppose the proposed rezoning of the former Lexington Hearing & Speech Center property at 154-164 N Ashland Ave. We did this for several reasons:

    ** P1 is not in the character of the neighborhood. The Planning Commission has recognized this twice by down zoning much of our neighborhood to R-1D.

    ** Zoning several lots P-1 in the middle of an R-1D area can put rezoning pressure on surrounding properties.

    ** Professional office usage could change the character of the neighborhood.

    ** The screening variances could be a problem for neighbors.

    The members also voted to circulate a petition and retain the services of an attorney. I made a mistake on the date of the Planning Commission hearing. In the newsletter and other places I put the date as last Thursday instead of this Trursday.

    The Planning Commission hearing on this rezoning is THURSDAY October 27th 1:30 pm Council Chambers

    There are several things you can do to help out:

    1. Sign the petition.

    2. Plan to attend the hearing.

    3. Prepare to speak at the hearing.

    4. Send a email to the Planing Commission. (email for address)

    Over the weekend 6 volunteers covered the neighborhood and recorded over 130 signatures. It was a busy and beautiful weekend and the main reason we didn't get more signatures was people not being at home. Almost everyone that answered their door signed the petition. Fewer than 10 wouldn't sign the petition because they support the rezoning. We must respect these neighbor's opinions since however this turns out we will still be neighbors.

    If you haven't had a chance to sign a petition but would like to please email with a good time and location for you and we will make every effort to get a volunteer to meet you.

    Our attorney assures me that nothing is as effective as warm bodies at the hearing. If at all possible make plans to attend. He also would like 4-5 people to speak at the hearing to address concerns about the proposed rezoning. Thanks for your support!

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    Rezoning Hearing Postponed

    This email from the Lexington Hearing & Speech Center's attorney arrived on Wednesday:

    > Dear North Ashland Neighbor,
    > This is in follow up to a request  made last night following our meeting
    > by Lewis Gardner, President of the Mentelle Neighborhood
    > Association to postpone the scheduled hearing for the zone change
    > request tendered by the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center for its
    > property on North Ashland Avenue.  Pursuant the Mr. Gardner's request,
    > the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center is going to request a
    > postponement of the hearing.  I have attached a letter which will be
    > mailed out tomorrow to all persons required to be notified of the zone
    > change request of our intention to postpone at the September 22 meeting
    > of the Planning Commission. By this email I am also notifying the
    > Planning Staff of our intentions so that they may further inform anyone
    > who has expressed an interest in this proposed zone change of our intent
    > to postpone.
    > Thank you for coming last night and should you have any further
    > questions or comments please let me know. We want to be as responsive as
    > we can be.
    > Thank you,
    > Bruce Simpson

    I appreciate Mr Simpson's prompt action on this matter. This should allow enough time for careful consideration of the proposal as it relates to our potential new neighbors.

    Postponement Letter

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    Lexington Hearing & Speech Center rezoning request UPDATE

    The rezoning request for the former Lexington Hearing & Speech Center property at 154-164 N Ashland Ave is no longer speculative. Contracts have apparently been signed with:

    ** The Children's Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass for the larger property at 158 & 162 N Ashland Ave. Information on the Children's Advocacy Center can be found on their website, kykids.org.

    ** Jill Rose, a lawyer, for 154 N Ashland Ave. She wants to locate her law office there.

    The good news is that the Children's Advocacy Center is currently a neighbor (183 Walton Ave) and appears to be a good fit for this very unique property. It is in everyone's best interest that this property find a good use and that appears to be the case.

    The use of the property by the Lexington Hearing & Speech Center is not substantially different than the use proposed by the Children's Advocacy Center. In both cases children and their families come to the location and receive assistance. Both of these uses have clinical, educational and support elements. Why this would require a zone change is puzzling. Of course the lawyer for the Lexington Hearing & Speech Center sees this differently.

    Currently the hearing for this zone change is scheduled for Sept 22nd at 1:30pm in Council Chambers, 200 E Main St. At the meeting last night the attorney for The Lexington Hearing & Speech Center was asked to agree to an continuance until next month since 8 days is not long enough to consider all the ramifications of this new information.

    All of the information the MNA has received concerning this zone change can be found below. I strongly recommend that those of you interested in this matter review the linked documents below and send any comments, thoughts or ideas that you may have to this email.

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    Meeting on Lexington Hearing & Speech Center rezoning request

    While the neighborhood association was not contacted, apparently a meeting about the Lexington Hearing and Speech property rezoning has been scheduled for Tuesday, September 13th 7:00pm at the Heritage Baptist Church on North Ashland Avenue.

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    Lexington Hearing & Speech Center requests rezoning

    With their move to the former Julia R Ewing school on Henry Clay Blvd The Lexington Hearing & Speech Center put their property at 154-164 N Ashland Ave up for sale. They have also requested a zone change from R-1D to P-1 for the lots at 154-162. The Zoning Committee of the Planning Commission heard a preliminary request on August 3rd and recommended postponement of the rezoning.

    A public hearing on this request has been postponed till next month.

    The Board of Directors of Mentelle Neighborhood Association voted to oppose this zoning request for the following reasons:

  • Zoning several lots P1 in the middle of a R1D area could negatively impact the neighborhood.
  • The zoning request seems speculative.
  • The parking and screening variances could be a problem for neighbors on North Ashland.

    The MNA wants to be a good neighbor to whatever entity eventually makes it's home on North Ashland, just as the Lexington Hearing & Speech Center was a good neighbor for almost 50 years. However this goodwill does not translate into a desire to see a speculative zone change. We would hope that more specific information would be forthcoming since many possible uses for this property are allowed in the current R1D zoning.

    If you have any thoughts on this matter please email.

    Information about the zone change are in these links:

  • Planning Commission Staff Report
  • R1 Zoning Ordinance
  • P1 Zoning Ordinance
  • Development Plan
  • Documents
  • Pictures
  • Map

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    Aurora Fest 2011

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    MNA receives another grant!

    The Mentelle Neighborhood Assocation has been successful in securing another matching grant from the LFUCG. This grant for $4,500 will be used to begin improvements to the median on Mentelle Park. Sara Hall is leading this effort and will need assistance to complete this grant in the 1 year time period allowed.

    Neighborhood Action Match Grant Letters

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    Cocoa Sale on Sunday.

    Continuing the tradition established by the Buckners, Jeff Fugate and Melody Flowers will continue the holiday tradition of hosting a cocoa sale to benefit the Salvation Army on the porch of their home at 54 Mentelle Park from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday. Dec. 5. Come by to welcome Jeff and Melody to the Mentelle Neighborhood and support this worthy cause.

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    Fall General Meeting

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 7pm

    The fall general meeting of the association will be on November 16th 7pm at Ashland Elementary. We elect officers at this meeting and set the agenda for the coming year.

    The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
    * Greeting and review of the previous year.
    * Treasurer’s report.
    * Social director report and announcements.
    * Green Committee report
    * Nominating Committee report.
    * Election of officers and board.
    * Membership renewal and recruitment.
    * Floor open of other business.

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    National Avenue Art Festival

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    Sunday, June 27th, 3-? pm

    Join us on Sunday, June 27th, from 3-5 pm for an architectural scavenger hunt to be followed, at 5:30, with a picnic on the median. The scavenger hunt will consist of photo brochures depicting a unique aspect of houses within the Mentelle Neighborhood boundaries. Your assignment is to identify the address of each house pictured. The neighborhood has been divided into three zones with approximately 20 photos per zone. Zone 1 includes Aurora, Given, Hanover Ct., Memory Ln, and the 900 block of Cramer. Zone 2 includes N. Ashland, Bullock, Franklin, and the 700 & 800 blocks of Cramer. Zone 3 will cover N. Hanover and Mentelle Pk. Photo brochures, along with lemonade and maybe a cookie or two, will be available on the 27th, after 2:45, at a table set up by Ashland Elementary School. Feel free to walk one or all three zones and bring your answers to the picnic. There will be a small prize for the most correct answers in each zone. The picnic will begin at 5:30 on the Mentelle median, Cramer end. The Association will provide brats & hot dogs, buns & condiments, plates, cups & utensils, and light beverages. We ask that you bring the following:

    Household last names beginning:
    A – C	appetizers/chips/dips
    D – J	fruit or salads
    K – P 	veggies/casseroles
    R – Z	desserts
    In the event of thunderstorms, the picnic will be rescheduled

    Spring Meeting

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 7-8:30pm

    Ashland Elementary Cafeteria

    The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

    * Greeting and introductions.

    * Presentation by Greg Walker of Walker Properties about National Avenue. (see below)

    * Presentation about Mentelle Median plans. (see below)

    * Presentation about Art in Motion bus stop project.

    * Directors reports.

    * Membership recruitment.

    * Floor open of other business.

    I hope to see all of you on the 25th!

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    Presentation by Greg Walker of Walker Properties

    Walker Properties has received Planning Commission approval for an Adaptive Reuse Overlay for much of National Avenue. This will allow the buildings there to be more easily used for B1 type uses in addition to their current B4 type uses. This should be a positive for our neighborhood since it gives a more diverse atmosphere for small businesses to thrive in the area.

    Greg Walker will be joining us to fill us in on the very exciting plans Walker Properties have for the area.

    Preliminary Development Plan

    Adaptive Reuse zoning ordinance starts on page 8-67 in the left column at number "4. Adaptive Reuse Projects may be permitted"

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    Mentelle Median Plans

    With the assistance of the Urban County Council a working group of the Mentelle Neighborhood Association has met with and contracted a plan for landscaping the medians in Mentelle Park. A set of working drawings were delivered by Rett's Landscaping. These plans feature using the existing trees to their best advantage with the addition of low maintenance beds.

    The first drawing for medians 1&2 from Richmond Road is here.

    The second drawing for medians 3&4 from Richmond Road is here.

    This is a multi-year project and will need considerable help and input from all who want to be involved. There will be time for discussing this project at the Spring Meeting. If you cannot make it to the meeting and wish to comment please send me an email.

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    If you live in the MNA boundaries and would like to join there is a membership application link below. Fill the out application and mail it with a $10 check made out the Mentelle Neighborhood Association to Richard Coles, 118 N Hanover Ave, Lexington, KY 40502.

  • Current Newsletter
  • Archive (previous pages and pictures)
  • Mentelle Neighborhood Association By Laws
  • Membership Application
  • MNA Brochure
  • MNA boundaries
  • email link for more information
    Last modified: march 6, 2015