Standard Design Guidelines Update

Louisville is nationally recognized for its extensive collection of distinctive historic resources that are enjoyed by residents, business owners, and visitors as links to the city’s heritage. Preserving these historic assets is essential to Louisville Metro’s well-being, identity, and character. As such, Louisville Metro Council and the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission has developed clear policies for protecting its unique historic areas. This includes maintaining written design guidelines for a variety of actions related to properties within Louisville’s locally-designated preservation districts and for individual landmarks.

Most exterior development in local preservation districts is reviewed under the Standard Design Guidelines. The last review and update of the Guidelines was carried out in 1997. Since then, there have been rapid advances in sustainable technologies and building materials. Additionally, preservation methodologies have evolved, as recognized by the National Park Service in its approach to rehabilitation of historic buildings. The Commission acknowledges the need to ensure that historic properties can take advantage of these new building materials and technologies while retaining historic character. Additionally, equity is a goal of the Commission.

A CLG grant was awarded to Louisville Metro in 2015 to support the update. In 2016, a consultant (Nore Winter and Associates) was selected to prepare Draft Guidelines in consultation with Office of Planning staff.

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Community Discussions

Staff had several community meetings to learn more from the public and their thoughts on the Draft Guidelines and how they can be improved. This input will be used to further refine the draft before presentation to the Commission for review.

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Draft Standard Design Guidelines Document

The Draft Guidelines are provided as individual chapters that address a variety of types of changes to historic structures. They promote the community’s vision for preservation by guiding compatible redevelopment in local preservation districts. Serving as an update to the existing Standard Design Guidelines, the Draft Guidelines continue preservation policies that were in place, provide clarification and new ideas, and utilize some of the same illustrations.

Existing Design Guidelines

Most Recent Version of the Draft Guidelines

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Commission Review of the Draft Standard Design Guidelines

A subcommittee of the Commission was formed to review the Draft Guidelines.  For their review, staff created analysis tables that compared the current Standard Design Guidelines with the Draft Guidelines. The tables also provide suggested changes to the Draft Guidelines based on guidance from the community engagement. 

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Draft Guidelines Analysis - 8/17/23

The Commission was presented with the Draft Guidelines and staff analysis on August 17, 2023 for their review and consideration at upcoming meetings . The Commission’s review of the proposed changes to the Standard Design Guidelines will be on September 21, 2023 and October 21, 2023 at 9:00 AM in the Old Jail Auditorium. These meetings will be open to the public and have time for comments. Comments can also be provided in writing advance of the meeting for the Commissioners to review.

Questions about the Process or Guidelines?

Please contact staff at (502)574-6230

Provide Your Comments on the Draft Guidelines

It is the intent of the Commission to gather input from residents and property owners in Louisville Metro's local preservation districts and individual landmarks, as well as the general public.

Fill out the online form.

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