And so continues…
... the complicated and unpredictable process of the Edghehill Road development proposal concerning the historic property located in the Highlands-Douglass neighborhood.
As expected, in late January, Metro Council approved the rezoning portion of the development proposal to allow the manor house at 2114 Edgehill Road to be up-zoned to R5A, designating it as a multi-family residence. The entire 1.05-acre property is zoned R5 single-family, but a prior conversion of the manor house from a single family residence to a multi-family triplex was merely “grandfathered” in and never rezoned. Any present day changes to the structure would negate the grandfather status and since it is the only structure on the property that will not function as a single family residence, the zoning needed to be brought into compliance.
Zoning is simply a classification that regulates land use. Though it’s anyone’s guess as to why this property was excluded from last year’s down-zoning measures associated with the Highlands-Douglass Neighborhood plan, this portion of the proposal was never an issue for us.
From the beginning, we have supported the conversion of the manor house into condominiums and, despite what some have said, we did not oppose the rezoning. We do, however, oppose adding the seventh condominium, the new in-fill housing, and dividing the property into three lots – all elements of the development proposal that have yet to be approved. Interested parties will have further opportunities to voice their opinions as the development proposal must still go before several committees and commissions.
While public comments may not interest everyone, I highly recommend reading the Landmarks Designation Report, which can be Googled online with “Dean-Bishop House Designation Report.” This document is well written and contains detailed information outlining the significance of the property. It will pique the interest of anyone who is interested in the history of the property and the area. It is an important illustration of why we believe this property should be preserved and protected and why we adamantly oppose altering its original design.
The entire property received an Individual Landmarks Designation on November 19, 2009. An Individual Landmark is a structure and/or property that has been deemed historically significant and worthy of preservation in and of itself. Interestingly, the development proposal was never mentioned to the Landmarks Commission and approval was based solely upon the presentation of the designation report. Now that the property has been designated, proposed exterior alterations, including “new construction; demolition; any exterior alterations, the cost of which shall be greater than 25 percent of the assessed value of the structure or property; or any other application which is determined by the staff to be inappropriate for staff review,” must be approved by various divisions of the Landmarks department before changes can be made (32.256 Exterior Alterations - Metro Louisville Code of Ordinances).
In the end, the approval process should provide a balance between old and new and discourage the use of inferior products. The question remains, however, will the approval process protect the property from overdevelopment and respect the historical significance and architectural heritage that the designation was based upon or will this development become just another less-than-successful condominium project for the Highlands?
– Shellie Nitsche, 40205
AT&T Service Tip
Here’s a service tip we would like to share with any of our neighbors who might need phone line repair from AT&T. As you probably know, their call center computer system makes it pretty hard to reach a real person. It seems like you spend hours listening to the same recorded message over and over. When we finally got a customer service representative, we pressed her to give up the secret to the system and found out that you can speed up service quite bit by saying the word “agent” instead pressing 1, 2, 3 or whatever.
We did precisely that on our next call and it worked. We got conflicting information about our phone line problems that time, however. It sounds like these customer service representatives are not trained very well. Watch out for that! Still, the human beings were more responsive than AT&T’s machine.
– Tom and Carolyn Louderback
1623 Deerwood Avenue