Ascension Parish council members look for ways to regulate new subdivisions being built

Ascension council members look for way to regulate new subdivisions being built

ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Ascension Parish Council’s Strategic Planning Committee met Thursday night (June 11) to discuss ways to regulate new subdivisions being built in the parish.

Some residents tend to be fearful that new subdivisions will cause more traffic and flooding issues; they want better infrastructure first.

Susan Jordan lives along Highway 931 in the Prairieville area. She says she is fed up.

“We want more restrictions on what can be built, we want the infrastructure to be improved before we move more people into the area,” said Jordan.

She’s lived in her home for decades. Take a look at pictures of her home from the 2016 flood.

Susan and Jordan's home from the flood of 2016.
Susan and Jordan's home from the flood of 2016. (Source: WAFB Viewer)
Susan's home during the flood of 2016.
Susan's home during the flood of 2016. (Source: WAFB Viewer)

The pictures make her frustrated with all the new development popping up nearby.

“The biggest concern is flooding, traffic, and the overcrowding of our schools. And the concern is not just affecting me personally, but affecting everybody in the area where I live, which is a very low area,” said Jordan.

Just Wednesday (June 11), an 81 lot subdivision called Hidden Lakes along Highway 931 was approved by the parish’s planning commission.

Wednesday (June 11), an 81 lot subdivision called Hidden Lakes along Highway 931 was approved by the Ascension Parish Planning Commission.
Wednesday (June 11), an 81 lot subdivision called Hidden Lakes along Highway 931 was approved by the Ascension Parish Planning Commission. (Source: WAFB)

District 6 Parish Councilman Chase Melancon wants regulations on new development.

“To make it to where we do it more responsibly. We make sure we have the proper infrastructure. If that infrastructure doesn’t exist, then this area should not contain large subdivisions with two to three homes per acre. We need larger lots. We need to spread it out and try to reserve whatever rural character we have left in this parish,” said Melancon.

The Strategic Planning Committee considered ideas to present in front of the full council.

Those ideas included widening the roadways where developments are allowed, a traffic impact study, things about utilities and drainage, and more.

"Lot sizes, I'm trying to make it fair across the board, for everybody. For the grandpa who wants to do a family partition for his grand-kids, or for the developers to have to abide by the same things we do," said Melancon.

But only a few of his ideas passed the committee.

“It seems that the reason Ascension Parish keeps falling behind the 8-ball is because no one is doing the research up front to make these determinations,” said Corey Orgeron, Ascension Parish councilman for district 4.

"It's time for the people in Ascension Parish who are being affected, I'm talking the long time people who've lived here for years, they need to be considered. Not just bringing in people when we can't really accommodate them," said Jordan.

The two items that passed allow individual lot owners to calculate lot sizes just like the developers and eliminate all metal drainage pipes in the parish.

Those items will head to a vote by the full council in a few weeks.

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