Hundreds of houses, apartments proposed outside Parklands at Floyds Fork

Updated: Jan. 18, 2018 at 10:51 PM EST
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The Parklands saw a record year in 2017 with 3 million visits. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The Parklands saw a record year in 2017 with 3 million visits. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A revision of development plans may bring hundreds of new houses and apartments to the border of the Parklands at Floyds Fork.

The new plan, revealed to the public Thursday, calls for creating lots for 688 single family homes and 350 possible apartments in Oakland Hills.

The Oakland Hills property was purchased in 2011 as an investment by the 21st Century Parks Endowment, the nonprofit corporation providing funding to the Parklands.

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"We are interested in what happens around The Parklands of Floyds Fork," Dan Jones, president of the 21st Century Parks Endowment, said. "In the case of Oakland Hills, we saw an opportunity to improve the environmental planning by bringing the same planning and development quality that created the Parklands to a challenged development."

The new Oakland Hills plan promises to be environmentally sensitive with trails connecting to the park, allowing more people to visit the Parklands more often.

"Getting more people into the park, especially in ways that do not involve having to drive long distances to get into the park, I think is a benefit for the Parklands and everybody," Cliff Ashburner, Parklands Land Use attorney, said.

The revised development plan for Oakland Hills was revealed at a public meeting at the Fern Creek Community Center Thursday night. Recent visitors to the Parklands wondered how the development would affect park usage.

The Parklands saw a record year in 2017 with 3 million visits.

"It's more about traffic and people not taking care of the park the way we do," Linda Davis, a daily visitor to the Parklands, said.

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Despite the ice and snow, activity at the Parklands is constant as people come to enjoy a natural oasis just a stone's throw from urban and suburban living.

When asked if the Parklands might be becoming too popular, Linda Huff, who visits often with her two dogs, said, "I haven't seen that yet. I've been here weekdays and weekends and I've always had a place to park."

The Thursday public meeting was only the first step. The Oakland Hills development is still early in the planning stages and no one could say when construction might begin.

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