Step 4: Planning Commission

If you and your group wish to comment on the rezoning application, the public hearing is the most important place to make your case. LD&T schedules a public hearing before the full Planning Commission.

Notification of the public hearing is made in several ways:

  • Hearing notices are sent to adjoining property owners 30 days prior to the public hearing;
  • Signs are posted on the property 30 days prior to the hearing; and
  • Legal ads are placed in newspapers not less than 7 days nor more than 21 days prior to the hearing.

In addition, neighborhood groups that have registered with Planning and Design Services are notified 7 days prior to the public hearing. Public hearings are normally held on the first and third Thursday of each month at the Old Jail Building, 514 W. Liberty Street, at 1:00 p.m. In addition to these regular meetings, extra bi-monthly meetings of the Commission are held after normal working hours. Development proposals generating a high level of interest in the community will automatically be scheduled for one of these meetings, which occur on the third Thursday of every other month at the Old Jail Building, 514 W. Liberty Street, at 6 p.m.

Routinely, the staff person assigned to the case has 5 minutes to outline the plan, the developer and supporters have 10 minutes to argue for it, and opponents have 10 minutes to argue against it. You will want to publicize the date and time of the public hearing throughout your neighborhood so that all interested parties can attend.

It is often helpful to hold a meeting in the neighborhood prior to the hearing to decide who is going to be the spokesperson, what consultants will speak, what their order will be, what subjects must be covered, and to request that letters be sent to the Commission. If you have decided to hire a land-use attorney, he or she should attend this meeting.

Before the hearing, all who wish to speak must register with the staff person usually seated outside the entrance to the hearing room. You will need the case number for your case and can obtain a complete agenda for the day from the staff person. This will give you some idea of when your case may be called. Be sure to advise the Commission staff in advance if you want to use VCR tapes or a Power Point projector for your presentation. The public hearing is a more formal format than the LD&T review, but similarly, staff will present the plan, the developer and/or attorney will present the reasons the change in zoning should be granted, and the public is given the opportunity to state agreement or disagreement, suggest alternatives and give reasons for their position. The developer is then allowed a rebuttal to your remarks.

It is critical that your comments be factual, well organized, and based on the Cornerstone 2020 Comprehensive Plan. You should have alternative suggestions in mind and be prepared to respond quickly to questions or suggestions from the Planning Commission members. All information pertaining to this case that will be the basis for decision by the Planning Commission and the legislative bodies must come from the public hearing or be submitted prior to the public hearing, so be certain that all your points are submitted in writing at the hearing as they cannot be added later.

After all testimony is heard, the Planning Commission will go into business session and vote to recommend approval or denial to the appropriate legislative body, continue the hearing to a later date, or defer action. When a hearing is continued to a later date, the Planning Commission will accept additional testimony. When action has been deferred, the case is placed on a subsequent docket under “business session” for deliberation, and no additional testimony is allowed.

Additional information about rezoning in Louisville:

Click here for a one-page overview of the rezoning process.

You can register with Planning and Design Services to receive notice of all filings in your Metro Council District.

Agendas for Planning Commission and Land Development & Transportation Committee meetings are usually posted the Friday before the following week’s meeting. The agendas can be accessed here.

Click here to open the Land Development Code, and here for Cornerstone 2020.

Click here to link to the LOJIC webpage to learn about the zoning designation of a specific property.

Anyone interested in requesting a zoning change or viewing any public records on rezoning requests may come to the Planning and Design Services office (444 S. 5th Street, Suite 300, Louisville, 40202) Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Need more information? Call Planning and Design Services at (502) 574-6230