Ascension Parish President proposes year-long moratorium on new developments for drainage issues
The following information is from the Ascension Parish government:
In response to the increase in severe weather events that are producing dangerous conditions because of stormwater run-off, Parish President Clint Cointment is adding to this Thursday’s agenda an ordinance for a 12-month moratorium on all new residential and commercial construction.
The moratorium is necessary to give the parish government time to consider all the aspects of the combined impact of additional development and increased frequency of severe weather events currently being experienced in Ascension Parish. During the moratorium, the following concepts will be considered and addressed:
• Assessment of a potential Drainage Impact Fee – The money produced can only be spent to offset the drainage impact of new developments and can go only to projects identified in advance. While we recognize that our drainage ordinance is written in such a way that new developments are supposed to be designed to reduce the flow of water off-site; evidence suggest that this isn’t enough, and more needs to be done to improve the capacity of our drainage ways.
• Density Adjustments - Consideration of reducing residential density across all zoning classifications Understanding that a base density of 3, 2 or 1 unit per acre is easier to calculate, the parish government will explore alternatives to determine development density by considering all of the factors that affect each piece of property (road width, flood zone, wetlands, servitudes and easements, etc.)
• Address Subdivision Construction Specifications – These specifications were adopted in June of 2017 and need to be reviewed and improved. Consideration will be given to addressing off-site drainage through a subdivision by increasing the stormwater detention requirements, upstream and downstream impacts and site design.
• Regional Stormwater Detention – Other communities have figured out ways to purchase properties to expand the capabilities of detaining excess floodwaters. Ascension Parish has potential locations that could benefit from this type of drainage feature and we should understand the ramifications and possibilities of implementing this type of system.
• Review of the fill ordinance – In Sept 2019, the fill ordinance was revised and it was understood at that time, that work still needed to be done.