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Metro Newsroom

Metro Council approves “Green Initiatives” for developers

Friday July 29, 2011

For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622
               Stephen Haag 574-1204/645-1752

Last night, the Louisville Metro Council unanimously passed an ordinance adopting changes to the Land Development Code via a resolution introduced in March 2011, which Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh sponsored. These changes will reward builders and developers for incorporating green building practices into their projects by providing for greater development intensity on qualifying projects.

“This is the right thing for us to do so we grow responsibly as a community,” says Ward-Pugh. “The future of development is here and across the nation and is focused on green and sustainable best practices.”

Nearly a year ago the Bingham Fellows class of 2010 wrote a white paper focusing on the efforts of that class to make Louisville’s built environment more sustainable. Several policy ideas, ranging from fee rebates and tax incentives to Louisville Metro employee training and zoning law changes were proposed.

The changes passed last night encourage builders and developers to re-use existing buildings, to build within walking distance of everyday services, to not build on steep slopes, to provide more bicycle parking, and to use materials that reduce the heat island effect caused by unshaded asphalt parking lots. The changes also encourage builders and developers to orient their buildings to account for the sun, to add more windows to reduce energy used on lighting and to reduce surface water runoff by using green roofs or adding open space.

The incentive package passed last night is among the first of its kind in the country and is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth. Instead of relying on a third party rating system, an initial part of our proposal, Louisville’s green building incentives were written by taking the pieces and parts of the nation’s leading green building rating system and incorporating those that addressed our local concerns and fit within our local system.

“We would like to thank the members of the Bingham Fellows 2010 Class, the Division of Planning and Design Services, the Metro Planning Commission, Metro Council and the many individuals in the building industry that gave their time and input into these regulations. Louisville may not be the biggest but we can be the best. These green building incentives are surely a step in the right direction,” says Cliff Ashburner, Bingham Class 2010 and integral partner in moving this ordinance forward.

TIna Ward Pugh (D) 9