Last spring, there was a big story about the efforts of politicians to prevent a national company from spending $500,000 to locate a plasma center just west of the University of Louisville. No one, except the owners of the property, seemed to want the unsavory business of collecting blood to happen in their neighborhood. Some even put it on a level with porn as a threat to neighborhood safety.
Councilwoman Marianne Butler, whose District 15 includes the area in question, has now effectively made it impossible for plasma center businesses to open in any Metro neighborhood. Butler pushed for and got passed a change in the Land Development Code that adds plasma centers to the list of business which are required to get a conditional use permit before opening.
After all the hubbub last spring, PlasmaCare dropped its plans to build its center near U of L. Maybe they just weren’t up for the fight with neighborhood activists. Councilman Tom Owen owns property across the street, where his plans for university housing remain stalled due to difficulty in finding financing. And the owners of the property proposed for the plasma center, heirs of Vern Ferguson, haven’t done anything with the property, to our knowledge.
Don’t expect any backers of plasma centers to apply for a conditional use permit there, though. Even the LMPD was included in groups making public announcements against the idea.
“These changes go a long way in easing the numerous concerns of neighborhoods. Neighborhoods want development that brings positive improvements to the area. This change in code is a step in that direction,” Butler said.