Community hopes new licensing, zoning rules will bring a 'new ki - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Community hopes new licensing, zoning rules will bring a 'new kind of investor' to Louisville's West End

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They are family homes, but they're being used like extended stay hotels in neighborhoods where that was never the plan. Now, new rules regulating boarding houses in Louisville are aiming to put a stop to it. They are family homes, but they're being used like extended stay hotels in neighborhoods where that was never the plan. Now, new rules regulating boarding houses in Louisville are aiming to put a stop to it.
Shawnee and Chickasaw neighbors have complained for a year, saying the housing crisis crippled Louisville's poorest zip codes with abandoned, blighted and foreclosed homes. Shawnee and Chickasaw neighbors have complained for a year, saying the housing crisis crippled Louisville's poorest zip codes with abandoned, blighted and foreclosed homes.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They are family homes, but they're being used like extended stay hotels in neighborhoods where that was never the plan.

Now, new rules regulating boarding houses in Louisville are aiming to put a stop to it.

Kay Pope lives on West Broadway between 41st Street and 42nd Street -- and she doesn't exactly like all of her neighbors.

"We call them 'Flop House Row,'" Pope said. "Most of these houses got eight-to-nine apartments in them...it's a concern with me, because they're not interviewing people, and anything and everything is getting in, and every time you turn around somebody's being shot."

Shawnee and Chickasaw neighbors have complained for a year, saying the housing crisis crippled Louisville's poorest zip codes with abandoned, blighted and foreclosed homes.

Investors buy big properties for cheap and rent rooms by the week.

It recently prompted Louisville Metro Council to adopt new rules, forcing the owners of these boarding or rooming homes to go through a layered, licensing, inspection and zoning process.

"The intent is to make sure if someone is operating a boarding house that they're doing it in a safe and healthy manner for the occupants," said Jim Mimms, director of Develop Louisville.

Property owners have criticized the red tape.

WDRB interviewed Jeff Pasley, a property owner who had recently purchased a ten bedroom home in the Shawnee neighborhood in May of 2014. Pasley said, "Where do you want these people to live?" He said, "...do you want them to live in a park or something? To me, that would be discrimination."

But the community hopes it will bring forward a new kind of investor, more like Donna Purvis-Foster, who bought a five bedroom home across from Shawnee Park for $26,000 and turned it into her office.

"I could have purchased this home and done the same kind of thing, made it into a rooming house," she said. "This is an example of the beauty we have in the West End."

Back on Broadway, Pope says a new kind of neighbor is welcome.

"I'm ready to jump up and do a dance, I swear," she said.

City leaders say they don't know how many of these boarding houses currently exist because they'd previously opened without proper permitting. They expect property owners to voluntary comply in the next 90-days with the new license and zoning rules.

Those who don't face fines of up to $1,000 a day.

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