Where and Why Rezonings Are More Likely to Succeed

A new analysis of developer-initiated rezonings in Louisville, Kentucky sheds light on how the land use regulation system works.

1 minute read

November 16, 2022, 10:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Ohio River

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

Zoning amendments in Louisville, Kentucky are more likely to reflect  wealthy neighborhoods, according to new research from the Urban Institute.

In the article linked below, Lydia Lo and Yonah Freemark present the finds of a recent study that examined a new dataset of all rezoning applications from 2010 to 2020 in the combined Louisville–Jefferson County jurisdiction (Metro). For those who might not be familiar with the Louisville region, that means the dataset covers the merged city-county government and several other incorporated municipalities. The researchers also researched alongside Metro’s ongoing racial equity review of its zoning code and processes.

“[T]he system as a whole—including the housing market and the rezoning approval process—advantages wealthy neighborhoods in the process of managing development,” according to the article. “Developer interest in investment— indicated by the number of building permits and rezoning applications—centers on wealthier, more expensive neighborhoods in Louisville,” and local governments approve most of the zoning amendments they encounter, but at differing rates based on the neighborhoods where they are proposed.

More findings from the evaluation, and a link to the full report, can be found below.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 in Urban Institute

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