Urban Center Neighborhood Form District

To fulfill and implement the policies of Plan 2040, the Offices of Planning and Design Services (PDS) and Advanced Planning and Sustainability are currently developing two new form districts that were contemplated during the comprehensive plan process. One of these new Form Districts is the Urban Center Neighborhood Form District. A Form District is an area with distinct boundaries to which a set of regulations governing the pattern and form of development and redevelopment applies. Form District regulations are predominately provided for in Chapter 5 of the Land Development Code (LDC) and supplement regulations associated with Zoning Districts.

How are Form Districts Different than Zoning Districts?

Plan 2040 and the LDC provide for a distinct, two-tiered approach to planning and zoning. The approach assigns to every parcel of land both a zoning designation as well as a form-based designation. The Zoning Districts regulate permitted land uses, density, and intensity of development. The Form Districts then govern the form of development by regulating building height, setbacks, and other design elements. The premise behind Form Districts is that compatibility is often determined by the physical form and pattern of development rather than the actual use of the land. Each Form District established in the LDC represents a unique pattern of development that can be defined by physical design criteria. Since Form District regulations address issues different than the issues addressed by Zoning Districts, the two sets of regulations do not conflict with one another.

PDS Form and Zoning Layers


Plan 2040 and the Urban Center Neighborhood Form District

Within Plan 2040, the Community Form Plan Element guides the shape, scale and character of development in ways intended to promote a connected, healthy, authentic, sustainable, and equitable built environment. To achieve these aspirational principles, the plan element maintains a hybrid form of zoning that blends traditional zoning districts with form districts as well as encourages redevelopment while promoting land use flexibility. The plan element also includes recommendations that support historic preservation and promote the arts and creativity to enhance the quality of life and a sense of place.

Plan 2040's Community Form Policy 3.1.12 provides the vision for the Urban Center Neighborhood District:

Policy 3.1.12: Urban Center Neighborhoods typically adjoin Louisville’s Central Business District and serve as a transition from Downtown Louisville to the surrounding neighborhoods and commercial corridors. These areas consist of higher intensity uses and higher density mixed-use buildings that accommodate retail, offices, rowhouses and apartments. This form should have a tight network of streets, with wide sidewalks, street trees and buildings set close to the sidewalks. Pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users should be prioritized in Urban Center Neighborhoods. To support street life and promote alternative forms of transportation, consider reducing or eliminating parking minimums in these areas.

Community Meetings

Before submitting recommendations to the Planning Commission and Metro Council, we want to hear from the community. In advance of, and addition to, the required public hearing before the Planning Commission, staff will hold several meetings to get input and ideas from citizens.

Community Meeting (online) - December 8, 2022

Meeting Video

Meeting Presentation

Survey on Draft Regulations Presented on December 8, 2022

Working Group Meeting - October 17, 2022

See links below for a video of the meeting and meeting materials.

Meeting Video

Meeting Presentation


Visioning Session (in-person) - July 26, 2022

Visioning Session - Urban Center Neighborhood Form District

July 26, 2022 at 6 PM

Main Library - Community Room 202

301 York Street

Visioning Notice
Virtual Information Session - June 28, 2022

The first meeting was held virtually on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 6:00 PM. The objective of this introductory meeting was to discuss the purpose of Form Districts and process for the new form district changes. Resources from this meeting are included below:

Watch Virtual Meeting June 28, 2022

View Presentation for New Form Districts June 28, 2022


A public hearing by the Louisville Metro Planning Commission is required prior to any such amendment. Citizens may provide their comments at the public hearing. After the Planning Commission reviews the amendment and provides a recommendation, Metro Council reviews the amendment and may approve an ordinance enacting it. For an amendment to be in effect in some suburban cities within Jefferson County that have exercised their right to zoning authority under state law, the City Councils and Commissions must approve local ordinances enacting the amendment. Following the Planning Commission's review and recommendation, amendments are reviewed by Metro Council and other cities with zoning authority that choose to take up the matter.

Planning Commission's Planning Committee

To be determined

Planning Commission

To be determined

Metro Council

To be determined

Form District Maps

At this time, staff is only developing the regulations. The Form District Map is not being amended. Any amendments to the Form District Map to re-designate properties as Urban Center Neighborhood will be done at later point after the regulations are completed. Such amendments will be guided in part by an adopted neighborhood plan, such as the Butchertown, Phoenix Hill & NuLu Neighborhood Plan.

Butchertown, Phoenix Hill & NuLu Neighborhood Plan Information

Please share your thoughts!

Please provide comments and ideas on the regulations by filling out the following comment form. You may also contact Joe Haberman at (502)574-6230 or email him with any questions or comments.

Fill out my online form.

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