Waterfront Design Review

The Louisville Waterfront District is governed by a special zoning regulation entitled the “Waterfront Development Review Overlay District” (commonly referred to as the WRO District). Projects within this special zoning district require waterfront design review approval by the Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation.


All construction projects and signage proposed within the Waterfront District are governed by a design approval process known as the Waterfront Review Overlay (WRO) permitting process. Projects within this special zoning district require waterfront design review approval by the Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation.

WDC, working with a team of architects from the Kentucky Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, reviews each project application using the principles and guidelines listed in Metro Ordinance No. 66-2004. These guidelines specify, among other things, that development must enhance waterfront scenic qualities and be sensitive to the area’s unique environmental qualities.

Review the information linked below to familiarize yourself with the application process, and then we recommend that you contact the WRO Administrator at 502.574.3768 to schedule a meeting to discuss your proposed project.

Getting Your Project Approved

Metro Ordinance No. 66-2004

WRO Handbook – printable PDF

Process Flowchart

East WRO Map

West WRO Map