BIA COVID-19 Afternoon Update

Yesterday the President announced the “Opening Up America Again” guidelines to get our economy moving again. The guidelines will help state and local governments reopen “their economies, get people back to work, and continue to protect American lives.”
Governor Beshear, during his press conference yesterday, did not provide specifics on the plan for Kentucky. He did state that he would provide more information on Kentucky’s plan to implement the guidelines during his press conference at 5:00 pm today.
There are obviously millions of reasons we need open the American economy again to get back to some new normal. We need the economy moving. We need people working. And we need our supply chain open.
But we also need the ban on mass gatherings eased – and not just for the sake of Homearama ®.
In Jefferson County, in order to file a development plan, the developer must hold a neighborhood meeting. A neighborhood meeting is just what it sounds like. The developer rents a meeting space, invites all the neighbors, and then reviews the plan with the neighbors in attendance. It could be two people or 200 people. 
The current emergency order prohibits these types of gatherings. And as of now, they are prohibited until May 10 – or until the Mayor or the Governor allow public gatherings.
That means if you wanted to file a plan for a new commercial development or a new residential development, a multi-family development, or even a CUP you can’t move forward. You are stopped.
And right now you’re stopped indefinitely.
The President’s plan is phased. Depending on how the Governor interprets the plan, we might not be able to have neighborhood meetings until we are in Phase II. We are not even in Phase I at this moment.
Thankfully, we’ve got some great members that have been working with the BIA and Louisville Metro officials to find solutions to the neighborhood meeting issue.
Earlier this week, Cliff Ashburner of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP conducted a test of a virtual neighborhood meeting. The meeting was well attended and resulted in a commitment by Metro to continue working with us on a solution. 
Paul Whitty, John Talbott, and the rest of the team at Bardenwerper, Talbott and Roberts have also been working on this issue. They have reached out to Metro Council members and have presented other solutions including renting larger spaces to allow for appropriate social distancing.
We appreciate all the work these members have put into finding a way to move the planning process forward. However, at this time, none of the proposals have been accepted by Metro staff or Council members.
Opening Up America Again is the most important thing that can happen, but in the meantime we need to open up the planning and zoning process so we can continue to move our area forward in our new normal.
Be safe,
Juva Barber
BIA of Greater Louisville
502 458 0032 – mobile
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