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Iberville Parish Council approves temporary moratorium on development in part of parish

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 7:45 PM CDT
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PLAQUEMINE, La. (WAFB) - The Iberville Parish Council has voted unanimously on a temporary moratorium on new development in the unincorporated portion of the parish east of the Mississippi River.

This is similar to what’s being proposed in other parishes in our area.

The ordinance, ‘establishes a temporary moratorium on the acceptance and processing of subdivision plats and site development plans for land within that unincorporated portion of Iberville Parish located east of the Mississippi River to provide for the safety of life and property and general welfare of the citizens.’

Homeowners in the St. Gabriel area are hopeful this moratorium will give parish officials time to find a solution to their drainage woes.

Homeowners in the St. Gabriel area are hopeful this moratorium will give parish officials time to find a solution to their drainage woes.

“It’s a move in the right direction,” said J. Mitchell Ourso Jr., Iberville Parish President.

Ourso was ecstatic when the council voted yes on his proposal for a 12 month moratorium on new developments in the area.

“The developers are not happy, so what. I’m not happy. I’m not happy that I’m going to be out there trying to save these peoples homes, and do everything that I’ve got to do to prevent any further loss of property, life, or anything,” said Ourso.

“We’re going to do everything we possibly could, to get down to the bottom of this. And I hope that when my times up, the next couple of years on this Parish Council, I hope we can come up with some kind of solution to deal with this type of water. This has been a nightmare, and I understand that,” said Leonard Jackson, Parish Council for District 4.

“Every time it rains I’m wondering is this going to push it higher,” said Jeremy Cronon, who lives in the Meadow Oaks subdivision.

Cronon pushed for the moratorium at the meeting, because in his neighborhood, homeowners still have sandbags in their yards, after the flood waters did not drain for weeks.

“The least you can do is do this moratorium, and do some God d*** work in those ditches that are your property, your responsibility,” said Cronon.

That comment frustrated council member Bart Morgan, who says parish officials are doing everything they can to prevent future flooding.

“We want to get this water out. We don’t want it sitting back there, but we’re not God. I get on my knees every night and pray that he doesn’t put another drop on us. I say you do the same thing and everybody does. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit up here and you tell me I ain’t doing a damn thing. That’s bull s***,” said Morgan, Parish Councilman for District 13.

The moratorium prohibits any high density subdivisions from being built on the east side of the Mississippi River. It does not prohibit folks from simply building a home.

“And any future development over there, we need to correct the problem that we have there in Spanish Lake, before we can allow anything else to come down in the future. It’s a common sense thing,” said Ourso.

Lawsuits from developers on this moratorium could be on the way.

The moratorium will go into effect on June 16, once Ourso signs it.

Meanwhile, all eyes here are on that tropical disturbance set to enter the Gulf of Mexico. President Ourso says those aqua-dams are on standby.

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