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.
You will find Middle Housing types, such as duplexes and walking courts, built throughout Louisville’s older neighborhoods. Zoning laws in Louisville-Jefferson County would eventually lead to the end of Middle Housing construction and support the post-WWII building and isolation of single-family detached homes and their populations. Re-legalizing Middle Housing will expand attainable housing across Louisville Metro and execute the goals of Plan 2040 by increasing housing choices and opportunities in new and existing neighborhoods.
View examples of the different types of middle housing and how they might be placed in a neighborhood here:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What are the benefits of Middle Housing
Please click the button below for a detailed description of the benefits:
- What are the barriers?
The dominance of single-family zoning isn’t the only obstacle to Middle Housing.
Please click the button below to learn more about the barriers:
- What residential zoning districts allow Middle Housing?
- Middle Housing is not permitted in the residential, single-family districts, including R-R, R-E, & R-1 – R-5. Single-family zoning districts occupy 75% of the land in Louisville-Jefferson County, KY.
- Duplexes are permitted in the R-5B, Residential, two-family district
Middle Housing could potentially be developed in the R-5A, R-6, R-7 and R-8A residential, multi-family districts. However, developing new Middle Housing in these districts is limited and restricted by the maximum density, lot size, and other requirements of the LDC, such as private yard areas or the width of landscape buffers.
The map below demonstrates that the majority of land in Louisville Metro is zoned for single-family residential use only (yellow areas).
- How do I find Middle Housing?
- Look for more than one residence attached, included in a building, or arranged around a common yard space
- If it is not clear, look for extra doors, more than one meter, or addresses
Upcoming Outreach and Engagement
Please view our Upcoming Outreach and Engagement page for all events, meetings, or activities related to Middle Housing:
Completed Outreach and Engagement
- Planning for Middle Housing Workshop (Fall 2022)
Four community workshops were hosted in the Fall of 2022 at different branches of the Louisville Free Public Library. Two additional workshops were then offered to the University of Louisville's Master of Urban Planning students and The Muhammad Ali Scholar Program scholars. Participants at these events 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.
Pictures and observations of each Middle Housing neighborhood built are available here:
- Walking Tour in Old Louisville - AARP (Fall 2022)
Planning and Design Services led a tour of Middle Housing for AARP - Livable Communities in Old Louisville on September 21, 2022.
- Middle Housing Information Session (Winter 2021)
On December 15, 2021, a virtual information session was held for public that took a deep dive into the concepts of Middle Housing, known most commonly as Missing Middle Housing. Planning and Design Services partnered with AARP to make this event possible. Drew Finke of Opticos Design presented on the topic and a Q&A followed.
To view the presentation and summary of the event, including the Q&A, please use the buttons below:
Process for Changes to the Land Development Code (text amendment)
A public hearing by the Louisville Metro Planning Commission is required prior to any change to the Land Development Code, known as a text amendment. Public Hearings are open to the public for commenting on a proposal. After the Planning Commission reviews the proposed change, they will make a recommendation to the Louisville Metro Council for final action (approval/denial with/without revision). For an amendment to take effect in some suburban cities within Jefferson County that have exercised their right to zoning authority under state law, the respective legislative body must approve a local ordinances enacting the amendment. Following the Planning Commission's review, a recommendation is also made to these legislative bodies having jurisdiction.