Gonzales City Council decides to bring zoning change issue to vote

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - The city of Gonzales took another step in line with its rapid growth Monday, introducing a motion that would allow for a special use permit on West Edenborne Parkway.

"Motion and a second and in two weeks, there will be a final vote," said Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux.

The company planning to take advantage of the zoning change is Emerson Process Management. Emerson is a Fortune 500 company that has already been operating one of its subsidiary companies in Ascension Parish for 40 years.

"It's something we really were fighting and wanted here and, as you said, they are located in the parish right now, but they're continuing to grow, so surely, it's something good for Gonzales," added Arceneaux.

The zoning concerns brought up by several council members addressed issues like commercial development and what might happen if Emerson chose not to stay at the proposed site for the long haul, but after several meetings all signs are pointing towards future growth.

"It is a very specific special zone for this industry, in that spot, where we're trying to do neighborhood development because when you look at the growth coming to this area, we need to manage it. That allows us to manage it, that's all it is," said Councilman Gary Lacombe.

Marlin Wilson, who is General Manager of Emerson Process Management, said he would decline comment until the council's final vote, but the company did release a statement it was pleased Gonzales was moving forward with the zoning variance for Emerson's $16 million facility.

That is a sentiment Arceneaux echoes.

"The way I'm feeling about it is they're here and I realize we have to wait until April 8 and the final vote, but I feel good about it tonight," said Arceneaux.

If approved, Emerson said the facility in Gonzales would be more than 130,000 square feet and add about 50 to 75 new jobs.

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