Summary of Changes – January / February 2023

Below is a summary of proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinances. A public hearing was held by the Planning Commission on January 19, 2023. The proposed changes passed and will now be forwarded to the legislative bodies for consideration. Revisions to the proposed changes, as of January 12, 2023, are shown in BLUE. Each bullet point represents an area where a change is proposed followed by a brief description and a page number reference. Click on the article title to see pages of the individual article that has changes proposed. Changes are in red, with underline text being new, and strikethrough text a deletion. The entire article with all text is listed as the last bullet point. If you wish, you may download the entire ordinance with the proposed changes here: full zoning text with changes. The summary below can be downloaded here.


ARTICLE 1 (only pages with changes)

  • Added flexibility for sewer requirements for agricultural and single family residential uses on 10+ acre AG-zoned lots (pg. 1-3).
  • Added a sewer exemption for AG-zoned property up to 4 lots less than 10 acres being subdivided from a parent tract that has existed in the same configuration since July 1, 2001 (pg. 1-3).
  • Removed fire protection requirements from the zoning ordinance text and replaced with a reference to both City and County fire protection ordinances (pg. 1-4).
  • Full text of Article 1 with proposed changes



  • No changes proposed


ARTICLE 3 (only pages with changes)

  • Clarified public notice requirement for administrative appeal applications (pg. 3-2).
  • Removed requirement for location map for published notice (pg. 3-2 and 3-3).
  • Corrected mailed notice requirements for administrative appeal applications (pg. 3-3).
  • Added flexibility for mailed notice to allow notification postcards (pg. 3-3).
  • Corrected KRS reference for content of published or mailed notice (pg. 3-3).
  • Corrected final action reference for Siting of Cellular Antenna Towers in the Summary of Review Procedures table (pg. 3-5).
  • Added waiver option for illumination levels for average and maximum site lighting (pg. 3-11).
  • Removed boundary survey requirement and clarified site plan requirements for conditional use permit applications (pg. 3-12 and 3-13).
  • Removed the requirement that the applicant has to provide a location map for pre-application meetings (pg. 3-16).
  • Added digital file (CAD or DWG file) requirement for zone change applications, site development plan applications and right-of-way closing applications (pg. 3-17, 3-22 and 3-36).
  • Removed legal notice drawing requirement for zone change applications (pg. 3-17).
  • Added additional site development plan application threshold, to include any new multi-family residential (greater than 4 units), commercial, public, public-institutional or industrial development, regardless of the area disturbed.
  • Removed newspaper public notice requirement for site development plan applications (pg. 3-23).
  • Clarified when a certificate of appropriateness is required for alterations (pg. 3-29).
  • Clarified the requirements for site plan applications in the University District (pg. 3-37 and 3-38).
  • Clarified that single family detached homes and agricultural uses are exempt from overlay development plan requirements and the Urban Growth Design Review Board review process (pg. 3-39).
  • Full text of Article 3 with proposed changes


ARTICLE 4 (only pages with changes)

  • Clarified that only one accessory apartment is permitted per lot in the AG and single family residential districts (pg. 4-5 and 4-13).
  • Added flexibility for property owners to live in accessory apartments, as long as someone related to them lives in the main residence (pg. 4-5 and 4-13).
  • Added swimming pool requirements in the AG zone (pg. 4-6).
  • Added flexibility for the amount of parking in the front yard for attached single family residential structures (pg. 4-11, 4-16, 4-17, and 4-29).
  • Clarified accessory structure standards for through lots (pg. 4-12, 4-28 and 4-54).
  • Clarified common wall offset requirements for the front building façade, for attached single family dwellings (pg. 4-17, 4-18, 4-30).
  • Amended separation requirements for structures in mobile home parks to match building code requirements (pg. 4-19).
  • Clarified parking requirements for property within 1 mile of WKU’s main campus (pg. 4-24).
  • Clarified that the additional setback required adjacent to an incompatible use is not applicable along a property line adjacent to public right-of-way (pg. 4-26, 4-33 and 4-57).
  • Clarified setbacks for noise-generating outdoor uses such as outdoor seating areas, sports-related activities, and outdoor music and entertainment areas, when located in proximity to a residential use (pg. 4-33).
  • Revised incompatible land use buffer planting requirements to exclude shrubs and ornamental trees (pg. 4-34).
  • Clarified requirements for landscape islands over 400 square feet (pg. 4-35).
  • Added a restriction that riprap limestone grave and/or aggregate material are not permitted stone materials for the purposes of the landscaping section of the ordinance (pg. 4-36).
  • Added flexibility for on-street parking to count toward the minimum on-site parking requirements for commercial uses, at a reduced rate, in areas where staff determines sufficient off-street parking is available to serve the use (pg. 4-37).
  • Revised the off-site and shared parking sections to no longer require that the Planning Commission be the responsible party for recording off-site and shared agreements. Instead, it shall be the responsibility of the property owner and parties involved in such agreement (pg. 4-41).
  • Amended temporary sign section to allow off-premise advertising on temporary signs in non-agricultural and non-residential zones (pg. 4-45).
  • Revised restrictions on Electronic Message Display Signs in Local Historic Districts (pg. 4-47 and 4-60).
  • Revised the measurement of lot coverage, in industrial zones, to include pervious material and permeable paving material (pg. 4-57).
  • Clarified outdoor display surface requirements, if located behind the principal structure in industrial zones (pg. 4-60).
  • Edited outdoor speaker system setbacks in proximity to a residential use from 250 feet to 100 feet. This matches the setback requirements already imposed for similar uses in other sections of the ordinance (pg. 4-60).
  • Clarified applicable standards for PUDs without binding elements or development plan conditions (pg. 4-61).
  • Allowed flexibility for permitted structures and uses in the floodplain (pg. 4-63).
  • Updated outdoor storage requirements for the Lovers Lane Overlay to match updated storage types that are reflected in other sections of the ordinance (pg. 4-69).
  • Clarified landscape buffer strip requirements for the Cemetery Road and Lovers Lane Overlay Districts (pg. 4-70, 4-71 and 4-80).
  • Updated tree planting requirements for landscape islands in the Cemetery Road Overlay District to match current standards for general commercial uses (pg. 4-71).
  • Clarified planting requirements for landscape buffers in the Cemetery Road and Lovers Lane Overlay Districts when a vehicle use area or incompatible use standard is not applicable (pg. 4-71 and 4-80).
  • Clarified lighting requirements for the Cemetery Road and Lovers Lane Overlay Districts (pg. 4-74 and 4-81).
  • Created flexibility for lighting of monument-style signs in the Cemetery Road and Lovers Lane Overlay Districts (pg. 4-75 and 4-82).
  • Clarified building orientation and articulated relief requirements in the Cemetery Road and Lovers Lane Overlay Districts (pg. 4-78 and 4-83).
  • Updated the list of prohibited uses for Local Historic Districts (pg. 4-85).
  • Consolidated development standards for the College Hill, Chestnut Dodd and Upper East Main Local Historic Districts (pg. 4-86 through 4-90).
  • Added flexibility for fences in Local Historic Districts (pg. 4-86 and 4-90).
  • Added flexibility for illuminated signage (including LED signs), if approved by the Historic Preservation Board, in Local Historic Districts (pg. 4-87 and 4-91).
  • Added flexibility for parking areas for commercial businesses in the College Hill, Chestnut Dodd and Upper East Main Local Historic Districts (pg. 4-88).
  • Clarified signage requirements for PUDs and signage for accessory structures such as ATMs, fuel pumps or similar structures (no pg. number, see sign standards summary table).
  • Full text of Article 4 with proposed changes.


ARTICLE 5 (only pages with changes)

  • Amended this article to comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act as it relates to disabled residents living in a Household Living Use or Group Living facility (pg. 5-2, 5-8 and pg. 5-10).
  • Added School as a permitted use by right in the HB zone (pg. 5-3).
  • Added Limited RV Stay as a specific use type in the Overnight Accommodation use category and established specific use standards for such use (pg. 5-3, 5-19 and 5-22).
  • Clarified requirements for Waste-Related uses, including screening requirements (pg. 5-5 and 5-34).
  • Clarified that Topsoil Removal is a specific use type in the Mining use category (pg. 5-6 and 5-40).
  • Added flexibility in uses and permitted up to two employees not residing on the property for Home Occupation uses (pg. 5-8 and 5-9).
  • Added screening requirement for group living uses in residential settings, in order to preserve the character of existing neighborhoods (pg. 5-10).
  • Added an increased building setback for Religious Institution uses in the AG, RR, R-E or RS-1 zoning districts, when located adjacent to a single family residential district or use (pg. 5-14).
  • Amended the definition for Merchant Electric Generating Facility (pg. 5-15).
  • Imposed a minimum 10 acre area requirement for Campground uses (pg. 5-25).
  • Added flexibility for the sale, rental or leasing of vehicles (Class 6 and above) and equipment weighing more than 2,500 pounds in the HB zone, if such use is classified as an accessory use (pg. 5-26).
  • Clarified travelway and parking design requirements for Agritourism uses (pg. 5-38).
  • Amended the required telecommunication tower setbacks to be based off of the fall radius of the tower instead of the overall height of the tower (pg. 5-42).
  • Full text of Article 5 with proposed changes.


ARTICLE 6 (only pages with changes)

  • Clarified that involuntary destruction of a structure containing a nonconforming use does not necessarily eliminate the nonconforming use of the land. Nonconforming rights may be reestablished within a period of eighteen (18) months (pg. 6-2).
  • Full text of Article 6 with proposed changes.


ARTICLE 7 (only pages with changes)


ARTICLE 8 (only pages with changes)

  • Amended BUILDING definition to exclude dumpster enclosures (pg. 8-4).
  • Amended BUILDING HEIGHT definition to exempt grain silos (pg. 8-4).
  • Amended FAMILY definition to include up to 8 disabled residents protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act (pg. 8-7).
  • Removed 10 megawatt threshold from the definition for MERCHANT ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILITY (pg. 8-10).
  • Full text of Article 8 with proposed changes.


APPENDIX A, Exhibit G2 – Historic Overlay Standards (new document)

  • Amended Historic Overlay Standards (see Appendix A, Exhibit G2) in consultation with the Historic Preservation Board and the Landmark Association President.



  • No changes proposed