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Metro Council Overrides Mayor’s Veto of Landmarks Ordinance

Thursday August 9, 2012

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

Louisville – By a vote of 18 to 7, the Louisville Metro Council has voted to override the Mayor’s Veto of the recently passed landmarks ordinance. The ordinance, which was passed in an effort to include more community involvement and notification before a structure is designated as a landmark will become law, and marks the first time since the establishment of merged government that the council has taken such action.

“I want to thank all parties who have been involved in helping us make historic preservation more community involved and transparent. I believe we have made a good ordinance stronger. We will continue to work with the Mayor and all groups to move our city forward while preserving our heritage,” said Councilman David Yates (District 25).”

“I am proud of the bi-partisan support this needed ordinance received and believe that the oversight required within this ordinance will help to restore public confidence in the landmarks process.” said Councilman Kelly Downard (District 16). “In his veto, the Mayor pointed out that various corners of this community have been adversely affected by questionable decisions – this ordinance doesn’t eliminate our Landmarks Commission or Ordinance, it simply gives the council the ability to review landmark designations and support the public’s best interest.”

The Council’s Planning and Zoning Committee began its review of the ordinance in March of this year. There were two public hearings and several reviews before the final version was passed by the Council on Thursday, July 26. The ordinance was vetoed by Mayor Fischer on Thursday, August 2, 2012 and that veto was overridden at tonight’s meeting.

Here are the key highlights of the ordinance:

  • Gives the option for a voluntary pre-application meeting of all interested parties, owners and the landmarks commission.
  • Require that 101 of the 200 petitioners live or own property within a combination of a one mile radius and within the council district where the property is located.
  • Requires that more residents surrounding a proposed property have to be notified.
  • Extends the time before a public meeting has to be held so that the Landmarks Commission has the time to do their work.
  • Allows the Metro Council the ability to bring up the issue after the Landmarks Commission has acted but only if a majority of the council votes to do so.

“The Metro Council has laid a wet blanket over a vital 40 year history of saving our architectural heritage. Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9) and I understand that committed citizens will remember this vote as a sad moment in city’s history,” said Councilman Tom Owen (D-8)

Joining Yates as sponsors were Council members David James (D-6), Rick Blackwell (D-12), Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13), Bob Henderson (D-14), Marianne Butler (D-15), Kelly Downard (R-16), Glen Stuckel (R-17), Jerry Miller (D-19), Stuart Benson (R-20), Robin Engel (R-22), James Peden (R-23), and President Jim King (D-10).