veridian rendering

Veridian at Prospect's Edge is a 164-unit affordable housing development planned at 10500 and 10600 U.S. 42 in the Prospect area. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville Metro Planning Commission erred in its 2020 approval of an affordable housing proposal near Prospect because it didn't properly consider Jefferson County's land use plan, a judge ruled.

The ruling is a victory for neighbors who sued over the decision and a setback for LDG Land Holdings, part of a company that wants to build 164 apartments in eight buildings just north of Rose Island Road. Called Veridian at Prospect's Edge, it also could be home to former public housing residents of the Beecher Terrace complex.

The order, issued Dec. 22 by Jefferson Circuit Judge Audra J. Eckerle, reaffirmed a previous ruling from April. LDG plans to appeal to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, LDG Development executive vice president Christi Lanier-Robinson said Wednesday.

"We'll move forward as quickly as possible," she said. "Clearly, we're in it for the long haul as it relates to Prospect and trying to bring affordable housing to all parts of our community. And so we'll take it to the next step."

The Veridian proposal is separate from the controversial Prospect Cove apartments the company also is looking to build near Prospect.

LDG received Metro government approvals for Veridian, but a lawsuit filed by neighbors and others in November 2020 alleged that the planning commission approved a plan that didn't meet the requirements of the county's land development code and the broader plan governing land use.

The site did not need a zoning change because it already allows multifamily units. But LDG needed the planning commission to review its development plan.  

Eckerle ruled in April that the "record clearly reflects the fact" that the planning commission did not analyze whether the development proposal adheres to the county's comprehensive plan.

LDG then asked for the judge to reconsider the ruling. The new opinion issued last week reaffirmed it.

"If Metro does not think that it should be considering the Comprehensive Plan in these types of approvals, it needs to rewrite the (Land Development Code)," Eckerle wrote. "Otherwise, it simply must actually discuss during the hearing the issues of sidewalks, bike lanes, employment centers, multiple story housing units and proximity to single family homes, the existence of activity centers, and density."

"Mere lip service to the need for more affordable housing and the passing statement that maybe public transportation would be available at some point is insufficient," she concluded.

Eckerle, who was elected to the appeals court during the November general election, added that the type of review the planning commission did "cannot be mere code compliance rubber stamping."

Steve Porter, an attorney representing the neighbors, wrote in an email Tuesday night that his clients believed "the proposed location of these apartments failed on all accounts. This is a victory for the 2040 Comprehensive Plan and the goals and objectives therein as adopted by Louisville Metro."

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