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Paristown Pointe neighbors express criticism, concerns with Urban Government Center project

Neighbors expressed concerns with settlement money being paid to the Marian Group, some of...
Neighbors expressed concerns with settlement money being paid to the Marian Group, some of which are taxpayer dollars.(Source: WAVE 3 News)
Published: Aug. 9, 2019 at 12:02 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Before the redevelopment of the Urban Government Center takes any more steps, Paristown Pointe neighbors are addressing what they believe are big problems.

Specifically, zoning changes. Those include permits for multi-family residences and big commercial properties. But the city is facing sharp criticism for a settlement with the Marian Group - one of the property’s expected developers.

The city chose them to develop the parking lot area in 2017, which was set to be the first part of a larger development for the entire Urban Government Center. But the property was already under a prior lease agreement with the Paristown Preservation Trust. That group planned to use the space as a parking lot for the Kentucky Center’s upcoming music venue. Last month, the city settled with Marian for $650,000 - a quarter of that being tax payer dollars. That money will cover Marian’s costs in improving the property, while plans for the parking lot move forward.

Paristown Pointe is planning a public meeting to update neighbors on developments at the Urban...
Paristown Pointe is planning a public meeting to update neighbors on developments at the Urban Government Center.(Source: WAVE 3 News)

“We had hoped to be able to provide alternative parking to Paristown Preservation Trust," Allison Smith with Develop Louisville explained. "We disagreed on what ultimately the parking looked like. And so, basic litigation, we chose to see that to the Kentucky Center and Paristown Pointe Preservation Trust and continue with the rest of the site.”

Some neighbors aren’t thrilled with the $150,000 settlement costs, which will come out of Louisville Forward’s remaining budget from the 2018-19 fiscal year.

“Who do we take grievance up with if we’re not happy with that decision?” one resident asked. “Because it’s obvious the buck is stopping somewhere. Where is it? Because $150,000, I’ll fight for that.”

Others at Thursday night’s meeting claim they’ve been turned down for meeting with Mayor Fischer and “laughed out” of Planning Commission meetings, which are open and available for residents to attend.

“From the top down, we are ignored," one neighbor said. “So you’re giving us this big spiel when it’s probably already signed and done. So explain to us what we can do to make our wants, our opinion, our needs heard and make it a fact, I mean, a factor.”

The meeting’s organizers urged resident to submit their concerns and suggestions and they would be passed along.

The plan won’t be finalized until it goes to the Planning Commission then Metro Council.

That's expected to be sometime in September.

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