Beargrass News: 07/26/2019

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Time for another weekly roundup of news that we think is important to share with our readers!

While doing research for our videos, we read dozens of articles on a variety of different topics every week. We would like to hand back our curated list of some of this week's most interesting articles and ideas. These are great for binging over the weekend, and if you see something you like, be sure let us know!

By advocating for what we want to replicate in Louisville, hopefully we can find like-minded people to help support our message (Looking at you, elected officials)!

Parking Minimums (Finally!) Up for Discussion!

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Nicole George (D-21) is bringing up an issue that too many of us don't even register. Why the heck are our parking lots so massive?

According to our Land Development Code for Metro Louisville, there must be minimum amount of parking required for new construction in the city. This issue is following a trend that cities around the United States are also doing as rising rents and lack of affordable housing cause strain on lower income areas. Simply put, if parking lots can be parceled and developed it would help to solve the 3.5 billion housing gap that our citizens need.

Mall St. Matthews and Oxmoor. Good for Black Friday Weekend, but not much else.

Parking is expensive. The national average cost of parking garages--some of which are being funded by our tax money -- comes to an average of $18,000 per spot of parking. In order to break even on construction costs, rent is increased by an average of $225 a month. Compounding this issue is that most asphalt parking lots act as impervious surfaces when it rains, dumping motor oil and litter into our waterways.

Currently, Louisville requires a LOT of parking for new development.

For places of worship, we require at least 125 parking spots for a 6000 square foot building that is usually only at max capacity one day a week. For a scale of reference, check out the image below by transit advocate and architect Seth Goodman.

This helps to explain why Southeast Christian Church has literal acres that are paved in asphalt on some of the most valuable land in the city next to I-64 and Blankenbaker Parkway. Not only this, but churches don't need to pay property taxes either, leaving little incentive to change or redevelop this.

Southeast Christian Church
The lot is empty 6 / 7 days. Think about if apartments and transit stops could be built around the church!

Not only is parking heavily subsidized by the city and businesses , but also it creates a narrative that if parking isn't cheap no one will want to go to the destination.