Proposed Biodigester Regulations

Develop Louisville’s Office of Planning & Design Services drafted the regulations after completing a comprehensive study requested by the Louisville Metro Council.

Biodigesters, which convert food waste and other organic materials into gas that can be used to heat homes and businesses, could only be constructed in industrially zoned sites in Louisville--separated by at least a quarter mile from homes, churches and schools--under proposed zoning regulations released today.

In addition to limiting biodigesters to industrially zoned properties, with separation requirements of at least 1,320 feet from residential properties, community uses and other similar properties, the regulations include operational standards to govern noise, odor, traffic and other potential impacts. 

State law governs that agricultural uses are exempt from zoning requirements. As a result, a biodigester that is part of a bona fide agricultural operation in permitted as of right, as would not be subject to the separation requirements of the proposed regulations.

"This proposed regulation represents a good starting point for discussion,” said Metro Councilman David James. "We are eager to get community input because this is a quality of life and quality of neighborhood issue."The draft regulations will be the subject of six upcoming information sessions before being reviewed by the Louisville Metro Planning Commission and Metro Council.

The public information sessions will be hosted by the University of Louisville’s Center for Environmental Policy and Management, the West Jefferson County Community Task Force and other community partners, with Planning & Design Services staff in attendance to answer questions and receive citizen feedback. 

The meetings will take place as follows:

July 25, 6–8 p.m.

California Community Center: 1600 W. St. Catherine Street

Southwest Library: 9725 Dixie Highway

July 26, 6–8 p.m.

East Government Center: 200 Juneau Drive

Beechmont Community Center: 205 W. Wellington Avenue

July 27, 6-8 p.m.

Newburg Library: 4800 Exeter Ave.

Central Government Center: 7201 Outer Loop

The draft regulations also will be reviewed at a public meeting of the Planning Commission’s Planning Committee at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 28 in the Old Jail auditorium, 514 W. Liberty St.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the draft regulations at a special meeting at 6 p.m.  Monday, Aug. 1 in the Old Jail auditorium.  Interested parties are invited to attend and provide comments on the proposed draft at both the Planning Committee and Planning Commission meetings.

Following the public hearings, the Planning Commission will forward a recommendation to the Metro Council for final action.

Written comments may be submitted to staff case manager Brian Mabry via email at or by letter to 444 S. 5th St., Suite 300, Louisville, Kentucky 40202. All comments received by noon on Aug. 1, 2016 will be considered by the Planning Commission prior to making its recommendation to the Metro Council. 

Pertinent Documents