LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An important zoning decision now heads to the Louisville Metro Council after the development plan for new housing in Paristown Pointe was approved Thursday night during a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Several neighbors were at the meeting to voice their opposition to the plan, which looks to put more than 20 homes on a two acre lot. Neighbors said they were told 12 homes were going to be built -- which they were OK with -- but the actual number is 22 homes.
The empty lot is just blocks away from the Original Highlands, behind the Old Urban Government Center on Barret Avenue. The lot is bordered by Vine Street on the north and Dupuy Court on the south.
Mary Madison has lived right behind the lot in question, with a rusty fence around it, for 25 years.
The idea of new neighbors and some green space was exciting for her and many other neighbors, until they heard double the amount of shotgun homes were going to be built on the two acre patch. For some neighbors, the tree canopy is the concern. For Madison, it’s traffic and parking.
“Parking is horrible here the way it is now,” she said. “Once they get 22 homes there, I probably won’t even get out to get to work without congestion.”
Neighbor Amanda Fuller added: “I feel like there’s an effort with this project and many others to discourage people and to keep them in the dark. To keep people from participating in public processes with land that we own. This is public property.”
Justin Brown, a developer with the Marian Group, sent WAVE 3 News a statement saying the 12 homes wasn’t the final proposal.
“In January 2017, the City of Louisville sent out a Solicitation of Interest (SOI) for the Urban Government Center requesting a ‘concept plan showing the general pattern of development proposed.’ As we understand it, this SOI was the result of almost a year’s work by the city’s Office of Advanced Planning, with solicited input from the neighborhood and surrounding community. The response to this SOI was to be used to pick a development team for the redevelopment of the UGC site. We are incredibly proud of our response to that SOI, the plan we have for the site, and the team we have assembled.
“Over the next year, we went through an open process -- the same process that every other developer/respondent went through -- and were ultimately chosen as the winning development team. After being chosen, we entered into negotiations with the city for a development agreement and began setting out to turn our nearly two-year old concept plan into an actual, doable, financeable development plan. The first phase of this effort is what you see, our plan to add ’21st-century shotgun homes' with interconnecting green space to what is currently a vacant asphalt lot."
The zoning meeting Thursday night began more than an hour after its scheduled time.
Several neighbors opposed to the project voiced their concerns, but others supported the development. Some supporters said they welcomed new neighbors and felt a development would help ease crime in the area.
Former Councilman Steve Magre also spoke at the meeting on behalf of the Germantown Neighborhood, saying he would hate to see the vacant lot left as is, but he didn’t want to take a side.
In the end, commissioners gave their approval to the plan. It now heads to Metro Council for a vote.