VOTE NO TO AMEND LOUISVILLE LANDMARKS ORDINANCE
Louisville Metro designates preservation districts and local landmarks to recognize, preserve, and protect its significant historic and architectural resources. This in turn has contributed to economic development, private investment, jobs, and some of the most sought after and coveted neighborhoods in the Metro area. In 1973, the city established a public preservation policy and created the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission. The Landmarks Commission is responsible for designating preservation districts and local landmarks; establishing guidelines for exterior alterations, demolition, and new construction for designated structures; and developing preservation plans and educational outreach materials. Decisions regarding designation are based on extensive historical and architectural studies, criteria similar to those required for listing of a property on the National Register of Historic Places, and public opinion voiced during public hearings (Historic Louisville, Preservation Districts and Local Landmarks).
In early 2012, almost 40 years after the Landmarks Commission was created, members of the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Council proposed an amendment that would significantly alter the Landmarks Ordinance and the designation process, making it far more difficult to designate property in rural areas and areas with a higher density of renter-occupied buildings. Initially, the proposal was presented in committee without the opportunity for public comment. After a massive public outcry, the primary sponsor of the amendment, Councilman David Yates agreed to table the discussion and the committee voted in favor of allowing the public two opportunities to express their concerns on the proposal. Public meetings were held in March and April 2012 and were met with an overwhelmingly large turn out of individuals who commented in opposition of the amendment. Opponents believe the proposed amendment will hinder the landmarks process and strip citizens of their due process rights.
This petition opposes the proposed amendment.
For more information on the proposed amendment go to:
Petition created and supported by:
Shellie Nitsche, Petition Coordinator
Anna Maas, Board Member, Preservation Kentucky
Rachel Kennedy, Executive Director, Preservation Kentucky
Marianne Zickuhr, Executive Director, Preservation Louisville
Martina Kunnecke, Executive Director, Neighborhood Planning and Preservation
The current Landmarks Ordinance has been in place for nearly 40 years. It has provided an inclusive, transparent, and accountable process. It is not necessary to amend it and doing so will make it more difficult for the Metro’s taxpayers to participate in the process.
The proposed amendment requires ALL landmark designations to be approved by Metro Council, a legislative body composed of individuals who, unlike many members of the Landmarks Commission, have no formal training in historic preservation, architectural history, architecture, landscape architecture, archaeology, or urban planning.
The proposed amendment would require at least 101 of the 200 signatures on a landmark petition to come from property owners or residents having their “legal domicile” within a one mile radius of the proposed property. This provision would make obtaining signatures from property owners or residents in rural or heavily commercialized areas nearly impossible.
If the required 101 signature threshold is not applicable, the proposed amendment would require signatures on a landmark petition to come from at least 10% of the total property owners or residents having their “legal domicile” within a one mile radius of the proposed property. The burden placed on the petitioner to evaluate the scenario before beginning the process of obtaining signatures is onerous to say the least. The language is confusing and arbitrary.
The proposed amendment fails to address HOW the one mile radius surrounding the proposed property will be measured.
The proposed amendment fails to address WHO will measure the boundaries of the one mile radius.
The proposed amendment fails to address WHO is to “verify” the “legal domicile” of those property owners and residents living within the one mile radius of the proposed property.
The proposed amendment fails to address the criteria the Metro Council will use in determining the eligibility of a designation should the Council disagree with a recommendation made by the Landmarks Commission.
The proposed amendment fails to address how landmark applications currently pending review by the Landmarks Commission will be affected.
The proposed amendment will hinder the landmarks process and fails to consider the current Demolition Ordinance which delays the demolition of historic structures for only 30 days.
The proposed amendment undermines the expertise of the Landmarks Commission and the Preservation staff. Equally important, it will jeopardize our Metro's significant historic and architectural resources.
I urge you to Save Our Metro!
Vote NO on the proposal to amend Section 32.260, Designation of Districts and Local Landmarks of the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Code of Ordinances.