Historic Preservation & Urban Design

Following a recommendation from the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission, Metro Council revised the Landmarks Ordinance on July 25, 2019 (as provided in Chapter 32 of the Louisville Metro Code of Ordinances). 

  • Click here to view the ordinance amendments in their entirety.
  • Click here to view the ordinance as provided in Louisville Metro Code of Ordinances Sections 32.250 through 32.263.

Responsibilities of the Historic Preservation and Urban Design Team:

  • Serves as staff to the Historic Landmarks & Preservation Districts Commission and its Architectural Review Committees, the Bardstown Road/Baxter Avenue Corridor Review Overlay Committee, the Downtown Development Review Overlay District Committee, and the NuLu Review Overlay District Committee
  • Provides guidance and assistance to citizens and business owners in relation to Louisville Metro's preservation and design overlay ordinances
  • Reviews applications for Certificates of Appropriateness (COA's) for work being carried out in any of the seven locally designated Historic Preservation Districts and to Individual Landmarks
  • Reviews applications for Overlay Permits for work being carried out in any of the three Design Overlay Districts
  • Prepares designation reports for requests to establish local Historic Preservation Districts and Individual Landmarks

Local Preservation Districts and Individual Landmarks

Local Preservation District and Individual Landmark designations recognize, preserve, and protect Louisville Metro's significant historic and architectural resources. The designation establishes a local process for design review of all exterior alterations, demolition, and new construction. With oversight from the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission, this review process is conducted by the staff and Architectural Review Committees (ARC's). Projects are evaluated in accordance with approved Design Guidelines. These guidelines do not dictate styles or specific designs. The guidelines provide an overview of the distinctive characteristics and the statement of principles and standards governing exterior alterations to structures or properties. Click here for more information. 

Local Historic Preservation Districts:
In addition, there are a number of Individual Landmarks located throughout Louisville Metro.

Design Overlay Districts

Design Overlay Districts are intended to promote compatibility of development with existing land use and design features. Within designated areas, proposed developments and physical changes to the exterior of a building are reviewed in accordance with established principles and guidelines addressing urban design elements. This review process is conducted by the staff and Overlay District Committees. Projects are evaluated in accordance with approved Design Guidelines. These guidelines do not dictate styles or specific designs. The guidelines provide an overview of the distinctive characteristics of each district and the statement of principles and standards governing exterior alterations to structures or properties. Click here for more information.

Design Overlay Districts:
 

​If your property is within a local Historic Preservation or Overlay District, please consult with our staff and complete an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) or Overlay Permit BEFORE making any changes to the exterior of your property. You can also view these User Guides (COA and Overlay District), which will walk you through these processes. Please call us at 574-6230 with any questions.


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