West St. Catherine Neighborhood Association

Traditional Neighborhood Zoning District

Sep 04, 2002

The following is the speech that Rhonda Williams will give on September 19 at the public hearing on the Traditional Neighborhood Zoning District:

I'm Rhonda Williams, Chair of the West St. Catherine Neighborhood Association, and more importantly for tonight, a resident in the Limerick Historic District for the past eight years.

My family has invested its income, its time, and its heart in our house on St. Catherine Street. This, of course, involves our participation in the beautification of the neighborhood and in the creation of a community around us, just like residents in other neighborhoods throughout Jefferson County and Southern Indiana. Our neighborhood is distinct, however, in its superb combination of tradition and diversity, and I believe that the Traditional Neighborhood Zoning District will help preserve many of the things that we have come to love about our community.

One of the things that first attracted my husband and me to Limerick was its justly celebrated architecture. With the TNZD, single family housing will be protected from the frequent exploitation by landlords, investors, and absentee property owners, who, with the current zoning, could purchase the house next door and do pretty much as they pleased?—cut it into a dozen small apartments, for instance, or gut its traditional interior features. The TNZD will help guard us from those who use the neighborhood with no regard for those who live there, thereby complementing the residential and historic character of our community and protecting the architectural integrity of our homes.

As much as we would love to see more single-family housing in the Old Louisville/Limerick area, that is not the sole key to the further revitalization of our community. Our strength, as always, will lie in our diversity. The new zoning recognizes the variety of establishments?—houses, corner commercial buildings, and apartments?—necessary for the vitality and internal convenience of a neighborhood. TNZD can only increase the hopeful tendency we see already: that businesses and amenities are returning to our area.

Creating a more attractive and livable central city is a crucial part of our mission, and the TNZD is an important early step. Louisville is showing itself as far-sighted as other southern cities such as Savannah and Charleston--cities with a wealth of nineteenth century architecture and the insight to preserve that historical and aesthetic heritage. A more beautiful, stable, and secure Old Louisville and Limerick can only add to the city's attraction for tourists and for those who stay longer. As a small organization, the West St Catherine Neighborhood Association has worked hard to do our part in a continual restoration and revivification throughout the area, and with that in mind, we welcome the TNZD.

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