Land Development Code Reform
The Land Development Code (LDC) regulates how land throughout Louisville Metro is used and built upon. The LDC Reform is an equity-focused approach to revise the LDC consistent with Plan 2040, allow for increased housing choices and opportunities in new and existing neighborhoods, create procedures and regulations that are easier to use, and increase the quality of life by reducing the concentration of environmental hazards near housing.
Work to reform the LDC began in the summer of 2020 with Louisville Metro Council's passage of Resolution 082, series 2020. The Reform continues to move forward and plans outlining the content under consideration, and strategies for outreach and engaging with the community are available by clicking the button below:
Middle Housing Tours of Louisville
Louisville Metro Planning and Design Services, AARP Kentucky, and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition hosted two walking tours and a mobile tour for community members to learn about Middle Housing. There are currently no additional tours scheduled.
Conservation Form District Survey
Planning and Design Services is interested in hearing from the community about a new Conservation Form District. Please provide your thoughts on the new form district using the survey below:
Changes to the Land Development Code (LDC) currently being pursued by Planning and Design Services include Middle Housing and New Form Districts.
To explore pages dedicated to each amendment, please use the buttons below:
Middle Housing includes a range of house-sized choices with multiple units between single-family homes and larger apartment buildings. It fits the height and form of homes and neighborhoods.
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.
Completed Outreach and Engagement
Outreach and engagement for the LDC Reform in 2023 remains focused on equitable approaches to guide changes, including a new series of conversations at the Louisville Free Public Library starting in March and walking tours of middle housing types in Louisville beginning in April. Summaries, videos, and material from completed events are hosted here.
- Zoning Matters: Conversations with a City Planner
The Office of Planning continues to host public conversations at branches of the Louisville Free Public Library. This open forum allows community members to talk about their neighborhoods, ongoing development, and ask questions about the the city's Land Development Code Reform or other planning and zoning activities. Through conversation in these spaces, both planners and community members can take away a greater understanding of why zoning matters to us all. Through conversation in these spaces, both planners and community members can take away a greater understanding of why zoning matters to us all.
Read a summary of the 2022 below:
A schedule for all dates and locations in 2023 is included below:
- Planning for Middle Housing LEGO Workshop
Four community workshops were hosted in August and September of 2022. Participants worked together in small groups to build their own middle housing neighborhood using LEGO bricks. The bricks represented different types of housing, such as single-family detached, duplexes, or multi-unit buildings. A park, bus stop, and neighborhood services were also included in each neighborhood. The results of the exercise are currently being reviewed by staff and the results will be published here.
- Workshops (December 2020)
Planning & Design Services hosted four workshops in December 2020 focusing on Housing, Environmental Justice, and Processes and Education following feedback from the October 2020 Listening Sessions.
- Listening Sessions (October 2020)
Planning & Design Services hosted three listening sessions in October 2020. Watch a replay of all three on Develop Louisville's Facebook page.
Updates to the Planning Commission
Planning & Design Services provides a bi-monthly update on the LDC Reform to the Louisville Metro Planning Commission. This update is provided during the Commission's regularly scheduled public hearing. Updates are available below:
- Updates to the Planning Commission
Media and Industry Coverage
The LDC Reform has been covered by local media and highlighted by national organizations, including the Urban Institute and American Planning Association.
- View Media and Industry Coverage
- American Planning Association - Zoning Practice: Ending Zoning's Racist legacy
- American Planning Association - 6 Ways to Help Bridge the Racial Wealth Gap
- Courier Journal - Zoning regulations helped segregate Louisville. Here's how the city wants to change them
- Louisville Builder - Recommend and Reform: Following the Land Development Code Reform
- Lincoln Institute of Land Policy - Race and rezoning - Louisville designs a more equitable future by confronting the past
- Planetizen - Story Mapping the Racism in Planning History
- Urban Institute - Louisville Is Using Zoning Reform to Tackle Inequity. Could this Work for Other Cities
- Urban Institute - Policies and programs for inclusive and equitable recovery
Land Development Code Diagnosis
Prepared by Opticos Design, a Berkley-based consultant group, this report provides a diagnosis of the current LDC. Opticos Design specializes in creating strategic solutions to address the most challenging housing and community issues of our time, including attainable housing and equitable development practices. Many elements within the LDC have not been revised since the early 1960s and no longer support current city needs. The findings of the evaluation conducted by Opticos Design revealed several components of the LDC that restrict inclusive development styles and limit the types of housing that can be built within Louisville Metro. Some of these discrepancies include parking requirements, minimum lot sizes, floor area ratios, excessive single-family zoning, and deficient density allotments.
It is crucial in planning for an equitable future that Louisville Metro attains a greater understanding of its past and grows from both its intentional and unintentional missteps in policy decisions. This report was a collaborative effort of Develop Louisville completed in the spring of 2019. It identifies development policies and practices that exacerbate inequity and place barriers on the attainment of wealth. In addition, it explores topics of exclusionary zoning, parking, economy, accessibility, and contracts in current and historic policy and practice. Plan 2040, a review of planning best practices, and empirical evidence guide recommendations to advance equitable development through land use policy changes.
If you have questions or would like to submit additional feedback, please call us at (502) 574-5860 or email us.