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Shively mayor expresses opposition to city's plan for new car auction lot

Maj. Emily Mckinley said the lot will hold more than 500 vehicles, a welcome relief to the current impound lot - but not everyone is happy with the plan.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mayor Greg Fischer announced new development plans have been filed with Metro Government's Planning and Design Services to create a new car lot that will allow the city to more quickly address abandoned cars.

The new lot at 3502 7th Street Road will ease overcrowding at the current impound lot off Frankfort Avenue. 

The city plans to beautify the area with shrubs, trees and fencing. Constant security and lighting will be on the property.

Major Emily Mckinley said the auction lot will hold more than 500 vehicles, a welcome relief to the current impound lot which is often over capacity by 200 vehicles, according to the mayor's office.

Mckinley said LMPD has struggled to move abandoned cars off the street and even out of the impound during the pandemic because they don't have the space for in-person auctions. 

"This space will allow us to do that and allow us to get more vehicles off of our property faster and get more vehicles off the street quicker," she said.

The major estimated hundreds of abandoned cars are sitting on the streets of Louisville, which she called a safety concern.

One of those cars is parked outside Sheree Lally's home off of Eastern Parkway. "I'm totally amazed that no one has crashed into this car," she said. 

The Buick has sat on her street since the summer. It's been spray painted, given a bow for Christmas and one person even stuck a sign to it saying, "Street art complements from the office of the mayor."

Even with word of a new lot, Lally isn't holding her breath. "I take it all with a grain of salt," she said.

Fischer also plans to sign the ordinance allowing a 30 day amnesty period so people don't have to pay for towing and storage fees.

“We’ve been working together for years with our LMPD, Facilities, Louisville Forward, Metro Council and residents, to find solutions to the complicated issues plaguing our impound lot,” said the Mayor. 

Not everyone is pleased with the new plan, however. Shively Mayor Beverly Chester-Burton released a statement Wednesday, expressing her opposition to the proposed lot.

"The City of Shively is not the right location for abandon[ed] vehicles to be stored," Chester-Burton said. In the statement, she said she was concerned that the lot would take away the appeal of the neighborhood, decrease the value of houses in Shively, create more traffic and environmental hazards, and would cause the area to miss out on future business opportunities.

"The auction/impound lot simply would not enhance the beauty of Shively, but rather diminish the area," she said. Chester-Burton has asked Mayor Fischer for the list of additional locations that were being considered before 7th Street Rd. was chosen.

She is also asking members of the public to express their thoughts on the lot at a public meeting of the Development Review Committee scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.

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