The City of Forest Hills provides many useful services for its residents. The services are paid for by the funds received from payment of the resident’s property taxes and other funds provided by State and Federal Governments.
Those services include:
The City contracts with the Sheepdog Security LLC to patrol the neighborhood on a regular basis and all members of the organization are uniformed police officers with jurisdiction in Jefferson County, Kentucky. They are committed to enforcing speed limits as well as handle any suspicious activity during the course of their shifts with the City. They can also maintain a “house watch” during those times when a resident may be out of town for a period of time. Simply give the Commissioner of Public Safety or the City Office a call and the Sheepdog Security will be notified.
This system has been set up to let residents become aware of any activity going on in the City that is of an urgent matter, whether suspicious characters in the neighborhood, illegal solicitors, water line issues, missing or found animals, last minute changes in garbage collection or anything that residents should be alerted to in a quick manner. Sign up for this service is very easy. Go to ReachAlert.com and follow instructions. If you don’t have a computer, you can call 502-235-9697 and they can add you to the list. You can receive a phone call, a text, or e-mail. We have had great success with this program.
The City provides for the salting of intersections and snow removal from streets based on established criteria set by the Mayor and City Board. The service is provided by private contract to the City. If you experience a problem during the snow and ice season, please call the Public Works Commissioners. Also, if there is an accumulation of snow, all vehicles must be out of the street to accommodate snow removal.
Sewer, Drainage, and Basement Leak Problems
The City of Forest Hills has no jurisdiction over the drainage and sewer services provided within the City. Total responsibility for these services and problems are assumed by the Metropolitan Sewer District a number of years ago. These services are paid for by an addition to your bimonthly Louisville Water Company bill. The number for Metropolitan Sewer District is 540-6000. If a problem continues to exist, it may be possible for an official of the City to intercede on your behalf, but please try the MSD Trouble Line first.
Street Signs, Lights, and Road Maintenance
The City provides for the ongoing resurfacing and repair of the City’s streets. The City is currently on a regular cycle of street resurfacing. Most city streets last 15-20 years after they have been resurfaced unless they experience an unusual amount of traffic. Please call the Public Works Commissioner if you happen to spot a problem with a particular street or pothole. The City is also responsible for traffic signs. When utilizing traffic and utility poles for “lost dog or cat” signs, we request all such signs be removed within one week and without damage to the sign poles. Poles must not be used for yard sale, garage sale, etc. signs. If you notice a light out near your house, please contact the City Office or Public Works Commissioner so that we can notify LG&E.
Building Permits / Exterior Home Improvements
The City of Forest Hills is a “Home Rule Class” City and does not have zoning authority. Further, the City of Forest Hills has adopted the Louisville Metro Land Development Code. The following information should make your project run a little smoother.
Anyone building, constructing, removing, or otherwise impacting the structure of a building should contact Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government Department of Codes and Regulations to determine if they need a building permit. Their contact information is Metro Development Center, 444 South 5th Street, Suite 100, Louisville, Kentucky 40202-4314. Telephone: (502) 574-3321 Fax: (502) 574-4356.
If it is determined that you need a building permit you will also have to obtain a Letter of Compliance from the City of Forest Hills. This must accompany your application to Metro Codes and Regulations.
The City Clerk is the point of contact for the City of Forest Hills for any requests for permits or letters of compliance. Depending on the request the Clerk will issue the approval or forward your request to the City engineer’s office. The City engineer may take up to three days to issue a response. This response may not be an approval. For example the response may be more information is needed. This is why it is very important to provide as much information as possible when submitting a request. Approval from the City of Forest Hills does not guarantee approvals from other state or local agencies that may be required.
Further, the City of Forest Hills does not mark or locate utility easements, setbacks, building lines, property lines or right of ways. If you need this information you should contact a Professional Land Surveyor.
Failure to request and receive the appropriate approval may delay, or stop the project while that approval is obtained. Further, beginning construction activities prior to obtaining this approval can result in changes in the scope of work. If you have questions about the process we encourage you to contact the City Clerk and or the City Engineer’s office.
The following items do not require a permit or approval from the City of Forest Hills:
- Renovation or repair to the interior of a house, garage or other building. Louisville Metro issue building permits. Any interior renovation that may involve plumbing, electrical or structural work Louisville Metro may require a permit be obtained.
- Interior or exterior painting.
- Exterior maintenance or repairs. (This includes roofing, shudders, windows and siding).
- Landscape maintenance or installation. (All landscape should be kept out of the public right of way, existing landscape needs to be removed or kept trimmed to not obstruct sight triangles for drivers and to not otherwise obstruct the roadway).
- Driveway resurfacing or maintenance. (This does not include new driveway installation, pavement widening, or change of driveway location).
- The City does not have authority over fences.
- Sheds that are less than ten feet by ten feet do not require a building permit, except as stated above when other permits may be required like electrical.
The following items may require a permit or approval from the City of Forest Hills and should be reviewed by the City Engineer:
- Any new building construction or building addition. This also includes patios, decks, carports and garages.
- Any new driveways or changes of location of an existing driveway.
- Any rezoning requests, conditional use permits, Land Development Code Waivers or Variances at least two weeks prior to a City Council meeting.
- Anything proposed in the public right of way.
- Any proposed demolition.
The City of Forest Hills is made up of many different zoning classes. These range from R4 to C2. The City is in the Neighborhood and Suburban Marketplace Corridor Form Districts. A required yard or setback is established by these.
While the City can answer questions on a case by case basis, it cannot identify or mark your property lines for you. If any resident is not sure of the location of their property lines, required yards, or setbacks they should consult with a Professional Land Surveyor.
Louisville Gas & Electric "Before You Dig (Bud) Line"
In association with building, construction and planting, there is sometimes the need to conduct ground excavation or to do some digging. There are many utility easements which run through the City. Please be sure to call LG&E at 266-5123 to check for the location of those utility lines before you dig.
The City Continues to provide reimbursement for trees trimmed or damaged trees removed provided a new tree is planted in it’s place! Our City lost many beautiful trees, and many tree canopies were damaged in the ice storm several years ago.The City has budgeted money to provide incentives for City residents to plant new trees and maintain existing trees. The City will provide reimbursement of up to 1/2 of the total cost of the purchase and installation of a new tree (up to a total amount of $500.00 per owner, per calendar year); as long as the tree is one of the species on the LG&E approved tree list (The Right Tree the Right Place) and not larger than 2 inches in diameter; and the City approves the location of the tree on the lot to make sure it is not in the way of any utility. The City will reimburse up to 1/3rd the cost of tree trimming and maintenance, or removal, if the tree is diseased or dead (up to a total amount of $1,000.00 per owner, per calendar year); as long as such work is done by a qualified, insured, tree contractor who is on LG&E’s approved contractor list and a new tree is planted to replace the old tree. Residents must commit to the long term maintenance of the planted trees. We hope residents will take advantage of this program by planting trees and help our planet in the process. Many interesting trees are on the approved list from LG&E. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Sharon Henry, 502-523-5118.
Property Valuation Office
Insurance Premium Tax
City Ordinances and Legal Requirements
The City acts through ordinances. Deed restrictions are applied to individual properties and are usually passed down from one owner to another. The City does not enforce deed restrictions and therefore does not have any on file. The Forest Hills Code of Ordinances can be viewed on the link provided below.
Some of the most common ordinances for The City of Forest Hills can be seen below.
Chapter 92 of City Ordinances – It is illegal to park a vehicle on a residential street within the City of Forest Hills from 8 AM to 6 PM, Monday-Friday, unless a Holiday. Vehicles cannot be parked with four wheels in the grass. A vehicle must be parked in the direction of traffic flow. The parking of recreational vehicles is expressly prohibited unless for the purpose of loading or unloading or an out-of-town visitor. (During the week of Christmas through New Year’s, the City expects that there will be additional visitors to the homeowners and therefore will be more lenient to additional parking on the street.)
Permits must be obtained to park such vehicles, but the permit cannot exceed 48 hours for purposes of loading or unloading, or 72 hours in the case of out-of-town visitors. The permits may be renewed one time for the same period, but no more than one renewal may be issued. Permits must be obtained from the City Clerk
The City of Forest Hills has adopted the Jefferson County Animal Control Ordinance. This ordinance requires that animals should be under their owner’s control at all times. The City receives numerous complaints about dog and cat owners who allow their pets to run free, overturn trash cans, annoy and sometimes injure other residents. Please do not let your dog or cat run loose! There are potential fines associated with the violation of this ordinance for the owner of the animal.
The City wishes to discourage door-to-door selling by outside business-related interests. Chapter 111 of the City Ordinances addresses the prohibition of door-to-door peddling and attaches fines for doing so. This ordinance was put in place to discourage con artists and other bothersome peddlers from going door-to-door within the City. There are fines associated with the violation of this ordinance. If you have someone come to your door or see someone going door-to-door, please contact the City Office or Commissioner of Safety and NSAP will be contacted to look into this person.
The City wishes to discourage in-home businesses which might generate significant traffic in and out of the City. There is both City of Forest Hills and Jefferson County requirements which must be considered. Please contact the Forest Hills City Clerk before attempting to establish such a business within the City.
Environmental Nuisance Ordinance
Chapter 72 of City Ordinances addresses certain environmental nuisances such as tall grass and weeds, storage and disposal of waste and excessive noise. Grass should be maintained no longer than 6: tall on improved or developed lots and no more than 12″ on unimproved lots. For more information as to the contents regarding noise or the disposal and/or storage of waste, please contact the Commissioner of Sanitation for a copy of the ordinances.