Zoning and Land Development Code- It’s time for citizen input!

Zoning and the Land Development Code (LDC) have been topics in the community.  At both the 2012 Fair Housing Month forum, held on April 16 and the May 15 meeting of the Louisville Vacant Properties Campaign (LVPC)  Michael Hill from Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services made presentations providing an overview  of laws governing land use in Louisville, the Cornerstone 2020 Comprehensive Plan, and the current LDC- including Alternative Development Incentives for the development of affordable housing.    At both presentations, he was joined by Phil Bills, Director of Planning & Design Services.

The Fair Housing Coalition’s 2012 Fair Housing Month Forum held on April 16, 2012 was a great success.  Over 40 people attended and learned about Louisville’s Land Development Code and how it affects fair housing choice in our city.

At the Fair Housing Month Forum, the audience asked  questions largely focused on how zoning has historically facilitated segregation and limited affordable housing development to certain neighborhoods.  As part of this conversation, Bills and Hill provided more information on the history of zoning in Louisville.  Bills showed the Comprehensive Plan from 1966 that consisted only of a large map on one side of poster showing how Jefferson County was zoned and text in columns on the other side- a stark contrast to the 140 pages of Cornerstone 2020!  Carolyn Miller-Cooper, Executive Director of the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission then discussed the State of Fair Housing in Louisville- building on the finding s  MHC’s 2011 report of the same name. Carolyn demonstrated that classes of people protected by fair housing laws are concentrated in certain parts of our city- areas where the land development code allows affordable housing (multi-family and/or smaller lot sizes) to be developed.  The Fair Housing Month forum concluded with a panel discussion of how zoning impacts affordable and multi-familiy housing development.  Panelists were Gale Lively of the Louisville Apartment Association, Tawana Hughes of Tawana Hughes Builder, LLC, and Chris Dischinger of LDG Development.  They discussed how zoning regulations and community response serve as a barrier to the development of multi-family housing and add costs to affordable housing units.

At the LVPC meeting, participants wanted to learn more about how zoning facilitates and inhibits development and reuse of properties.

At both meetings, attendees asked how citizens can participate in the upcoming “Phase 2” of the revision of the LDC.    PDF of Michael Hill’s Powerpoint presentation on Planning & Zoning in Louisville 4.16.12

MHC’s 2011 report- The State of Fair Housing in Louisville: Impediments & Improvements showed that zoning is a barrier to fair housing choice in our community and recommends changes to the Land Development  Code. The LDC is now under review.  Louisville Metro has appointed a 14-member LDC Improvement Committee consisting of Louisville Metro Government staff, representatives from the development industry, representatives from neighborhood groups, as well as other organizations and citizen groups.     Phase 2 of the LDC review process has begun and there are subcommittees meeting.

The subcommittees are:

  • Permitted/Conditional Use Listings Review
  • Form Districts
  • Infill Development Standards
  • Landscaping/Tree Canopy Requirements
  • Development Review Process
  • Fair & Affordable Housing
  • Major/Minor Subdivisions
  • Transportation/Mobility/Parking
  • Miscellaneous Research

All committee meetings are open to the public.  Go to the LDC Improvement Committee web page for more information about the LDC review and meeting  times and dates.  If you have questions about the LDC review or would like to make comment, please contact Michael Hill at 502-574-6230 or

Therevision of the LDC  provides opportunities to make changes that increase fair and affordable housing opportunities throughout our community. Citizen input is key to this process and MHC will work to keep you updated on opportunities to participate.