I recently wrote an article on the smart growth initiatives planned for the Fern Creek area for The Architect’s Newspaper as an update to a post on Broken Sidewalk last year. The area around Bardstown Road and I-265 will be the subject of a study to promote smart growth in the area.
As part of the SGIA grant, Louisville will be studying a suburban corridor adjacent to a planned 4,000-acre series of parks along the Floyds Fork stream watershed, expected to spur development. The city wants to “create a more vibrant center where walking, bicycling, and public transportation are real options for residents.”
Smart growth strategies will be developed in accordance with Louisville’s Cornerstone 2020 comprehensive plan by using tools such as form-based codes. Planner Ken Baker said the city is addressing a “need to shift the emphasis of suburban development in this community from an auto-dependent to a multimodal-oriented design.”
Read the full article at The Architect’s Newspaper.
Unfortunately, we’re still a ways away from seeing concrete changes along Bardstown Road. Currently, there’s no way to control what happens until the land use code is rewritten, and the area could see sprawl creep in complicating future smart growth interventions.
One such obstacle is the proposed $45 million South Pointe Commons slated for the southeast corner of Bardstown Road and I-265. Tucked up against the highway and behind an on-ramp, the development is labeled a “lifestyle center” even though it’s little more than a reconfigured strip mall. (Check out a site plan here and a rendering here – Warning PDFs)
The project by Barrister Commercial Group calls for 360,000 square feet of retail space on 45 acres including a movie theater, big-box store, and a mix of restaurants. You can see from the site plan that South Pointe Commons is separated from pedestrian access on Bardstown and is completely dominated by parking lots. The plan also calls for widening Bardstown Road from five to seven lanes at the site of the proposed project.
A public hearing has been schedules for Thursday at 5:30 PM at the Old Jail at 514 West Liberty Street.
It’s going to be interesting to see if this part of Fern Creek can actually achieve positive change through smart growth when auto-centric, single-use, unwalkable developments continue to be built and while the very streets in the area are designed to be more and more like highways themselves.