University of Louisville drops apartment plan for Shelby Campus
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The University of Louisville Foundation has dropped a plan to squeeze 214 apartments onto a narrow slice of land off Whipps Mill Road on its Shelby Campus.
The foundation is still pursuing other zoning changes to fill in the rest of U of L’s Shelby Campus at Hurstbourne Parkway and Shelbyville Road with a hotel, office building, retail and restaurants.
But, after meeting with neighbors in subdivisions like Bellemeade in June, the foundation decided not to move forward with the proposed apartment complex.
A preliminary plan filed in May showed 214 units split among 10 apartment buildings, plus a clubhouse and surface parking.
The 18-acre, triangular site between Whipps Mill Road and Old Whipps Mill Road includes the Middle Fork of Beargrass Creek and already has significant drainage issues, said U of L’s zoning attorney Glenn Price said.
“I don’t think they can build an apartment development there without getting into the watershed of that creek,” he said.
Donna Hunt, a retiree who lives in Bellemeade, said the heavy rains and flooding that occurred in late June and early July underscored the drainage issues in the area.
“The only thing we can figure is that Mother Nature played in our favor… The flooding happened at just the right time,” said Hunt, adding that she wrote U of L President James Ramsey on Facebook to share her concerns about the apartments.
Price said the land off Whipps Mill Road will remain vacant with no development proposed for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, U of L’s other zoning requests will be taken up in coming months by the Louisville Metro Planning Commission and then by the Metro Council, which will make the final call.
On the south end of the campus near Shelbyville Road, the foundation proposes building a hotel and seven commercial out-lot buildings that could be restaurants or retail.
On the east side of Hurstbourne Parkway, plans call for a large office building and nine more free-standing retail-restaurant buildings.
“Aspirationally, they hope they would be nice, sit-down restaurants,” Price said. “Will they all be that? I don’t know.”
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