Monday May 17, 2004
For Immediate Release
For Information Contact:
Jennifer F. Brislin
Patrick H. Neely
Country roads that wind around lush green vegetation and are framed by a canopy of trees – this may not be the first image that comes to mind when you think of America’s 16th largest city.
But these vistas are an asset worth preserving.
With the goal of sustaining the rural character of Louisville Metro, Councilmen Robin Engel, R-22; Stuart Benson, R-20; and James Peden, R-23, filed a resolution Thursday to create scenic corridors in their districts.
This designation is allowed through Cornerstone 2020. It marks the first time that the designation could be enacted.
“It’s a quality-of-life issue,” Engel said. “Folks live in this area because they appreciate the beautiful views of nature. They were overwhelmingly supportive of this idea when we discussed it at a community meeting in February.”
Benson said it is a top concern for his district as well.
Downard will be identifying possible scenic corridors in District 16 while conducting a larger study and a Small Area Plan for the Wolf Pen Branch corridor. Heiner will hold an information meeting for area residents in the next few weeks.
After the council votes on the resolution, the Louisville Metro Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and make a recommendation. That recommendation would then come back to the Council for final approval.
“I believe it is a priority to keep the scenic character of the area in mind when any new development is planned,” Benson said. “We want to make sure the natural beauty of the area can be enjoyed by our children and grandchildren.”
The scenic corridor designation preserves the rural character in several ways, including: in an R-4 zone, new subdivisions must be setback 30 feet from the road. In a scenic corridor, that amount increases to 50 feet, and first 30 feet must be heavily landscaped and include an increased amount of trees; fencing for new subdivisions within the 30-foot buffer area cannot be chain link; and road construction requires extra protection for trees within the right of way.
“This issue is important to residents who live in the Southern and Southeastern portions of the county,” Peden said. “It is an area that still retains some of the most rural aspects of the county, but it also is facing the most development. Designating scenic corridors will help retain the natural beauty without halting development.”
Councilmen Ken Fleming, R-7; President Kelly Downard, R-16, Hal Heiner, R-19; and Doug Hawkins, R-25, will be adding roads in their district to the resolution when it is heard in the Planning & Zoning Committee on May 18.
Stuart Benson (R) 20
Kelly Downard (R) 16
Robin Engel (R) 22
Kenneth C. Fleming (R) 7
Doug Hawkins (R) 25
Hal Heiner (R) 19
James Peden (R) 23