Conservation 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 Conservation 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.
Staff is interested in hearing from the community. Please provide your thoughts regarding the new form district using the below online survey:
Mentimeter Survey (9/21/22)
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.
- Plan 2040 and the Conservation 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 3.1.13 provides the vision for the Conservation Form District:
Policy 3.1.13: The Conservation Form District is characterized by its natural features and scenic landscapes. Historically, these districts are characterized by agricultural land, woods and fields, creeks and streams, riparian areas, wetlands, forests, wildlife habitat, parklands, steep slopes, floodplains, and dark skies. Future development in Conservation Form Districts should preserve natural and historical resources while providing opportunity for low-impact, sustainable and mixed-use development that include innovative housing varying in design, type, size and affordability. To conserve natural areas, innovative and clustered developments are encouraged and incentivized. Commercial and other nonresidential buildings that serve community, recreational or tourism needs are located near major roadways and/or recreational areas. Multi-modal transportation opportunities should be extended to the area, including connections to parks, recreational areas and residential areas to enhance connectivity. Innovative and environmentally-friendly methods of development, especially in the areas of waste management, wastewater disposal, stormwater runoff and energy efficiency should be considered to enhance the character of the district and the health of the watershed. Preserving open spaces, greenways, parks and recreational areas, natural vistas, working farms, tree canopy, air quality, watershed health, dark skies and wildlife habitat, while offering a variety of housing opportunities, are goals in the district. Any Conservation Form District shall be described and geographically-defined within a plan that is adopted as an amendment to this Comprehensive Plan. The development of the Conservation Form District will be guided in part by the Floyds Fork Plan.
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) - TBD
At this meeting, some potential new standards will be presented for discussion
- Working Group Meeting (online) - September 21, 2022
The working group meeting was held online via Webex, with a discussion on the related DRO ordinance being first on the agenda.
- Visioning Session (in-person) - July 27, 2022
Visioning Session - Conservation Form District
July 27, 2022 at 6 PM
Gheens Foundation Building
1421 Beckley Creek Parkway
- 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:
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 Conservation 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 South Floyds Fork Neighborhood Plan.
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 with any questions or comments.