After months of debate, Louisville Metro Council’s Planning and Zoning committee has passed a measure with some compromise that would change the city’s long-standing landmarks process.
The committee approved the measure on a 3 to 2 vote Tuesday after Councilman David Yates, D-25, first introduced the changes in February.
The ordinance includes the contentious provision of giving Metro Council power to overturn a Landmarks Commission’s decision, but the measure was amended prior to a vote to require a super majority to bring the issue forward.
Acting committee chair Tom Owen said while he still plans on voting against the ordinance in the full council, the amendment does provide more resistance over Metro Council's role in the landmarks process.
“It is movement, yes. It is improvement as far as I’m concerned. I do need to say, however, that I am still committed and feel strongly enough that the council should not be involved in any way in designation of local landmarks,” said Owen.
Yates, however, said the changes water the bill down.
“I think that if we make that threshold too large then we’re going to circumvent that forum. So that’s my big fear. But again, it’s time it gets to the council as a whole,” he said.
The ordinance also includes provisions that would require a majority of the 200 signatures needed to petition for landmark status to come from residents either living in the council district of the proposed site, or within a one mile radius at the site.
The full council is expected to consider the ordinance next week. It's possible the council replaces the measure passed in committee with Yates' ordinance requiring a majority of council to request a challenge of the Landmarks Commission.