Thursday, March 01, 2012

Public hearings on landmark ordinance scheduled for March

The Louisville Metro Council’s Planning and Zoning Committee will hold two public hearings on a proposed ordinance amending Louisville Metro’s Designation of Historic Districts and Local Landmarks.

Public Hearing#1: Tuesday March 13 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. at Metro Council Chambers of City Hall (601 W. Jefferson Street). It will be aired live on METRO TV (Insight Cable, Channel 25) and will also be streamed live on the Metro Council’s home page. Go to and click on the “Watch Gavel to Gavel” icon.

Public Hearing #2: Tuesday, April 3 from, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the meeting hall of UAW Local 862 (3000 Fern Valley Road). This hearing will not be aired live via Metro TV or streaming video due to the fact that the meeting is being held at a remote location. An audio recording of the meeting will be available on the Metro Council’s website after the conclusion of the meeting and recording of minutes.

Hearing Rules: Persons wishing to address the committee will have the opportunity to sign up one (1) hour prior to the start of either hearing. Those who sign up to speak will be called to address the committee in the order in which they signed up, and will each be given up to three minutes to speak. Persons will not be allowed to sign up to speak via phone call or e-mail to the Metro Council in advance, nor will they be allowed to grant their time to another person. Any person who speaks before the committee or is unable to speak will be allowed to submit written testimony for inclusion in the record of the hearing.

Persons attending the meetings are not allowed to bring signs, props or other materials that are larger than 8 ½” x 11” in size or that might block the view of persons attending the hearing.

Councilwoman Vicki Welch has released the following statement on her support for modification of the ordinance.
The ordinance would change Louisville Metro’s Designation of Historic Districts and Local Landmarks by changing signature requirements and place final approval of a local landmark with Metro Council. Currently, 200 signatures are required to have a structure declared a landmark. The proposed amendments to the ordinance would require that over half of the signatures be from residents who own property within a mile of the proposed landmark. This would give residents actually living near the proposed landmark a say in the designation of the property. This community input is vital since these local residents will be most affected by the designation of the property – as it may affect their homes’ values, safety in their communities, and economic development in their neighborhoods.
These proposed changes came about because of controversial landmark designations, such as the debate over the landmarking of the South End’s Colonial Gardens. Myself and many of my colleagues are supporting this ordinance so that community members, rather than just the members of the Landmarks Commission, can have an equal say in what is happening in their neighborhoods. Allowing Metro Council to have a final say in approving historic landmarks will help provide oversight over the Landmarks Commission.

You can read my commentary on the proposed changes via Insider Louisville by clicking HERE.

A copy of the ordinance is available at