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Proposal for 986-home subdivision outside Zachary denied during EBR planning and zoning meeting

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 6:51 AM CDT
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ZACHARY, La. (WAFB) - A proposed subdivision on Old Scenic Hwy. several miles outside of the Zachary city limits was denied during an EBR planning and zoning meeting on Monday, August 16.

According to plans filed with the East Baton Rouge Planning Commission, developer D.R. Horton has proposed a 986 house subdivision on a 350 acre plot of land. The project would transform the rural area into a suburbia.

According to plans filed with the East Baton Rouge Planning Commission, developer D.R. Horton...
According to plans filed with the East Baton Rouge Planning Commission, developer D.R. Horton has proposed a 986 house subdivision on a 350 acre plot of land. The project would transform the rural area into a suburbia.(WAFB)

“It’s almost like duplex living, the houses are stacked on top of each other, it’s just to get as many people in an area as you can,” said Thomas Scott, a member of the Zachary Planning Commission.

Click here to see the Zachary home plan.

Scott said he is not necessarily concerned about the land being developed, rather his concern is the number of people potentially moving in. He estimates the homes would be largely filled with families looking to get into Zachary Schools. He said he worries the schools would become overcrowded.

“We understand the need to get out of EBR School to come to Zachary schools but when is enough, enough,” he said. “When do we get to the point where we say hey, we’re busting at the seams and you have to realize we can’t take any more students.”

Zachary Councilwoman Laura O’Brien said the plot of land, which carries a Baker zip code, would also fall under Zachary’s fire protection. While future residents of the subdivision would pay taxes for schools and fire, O’Brien said she is concerned those tax dollars would not come in fast enough to support the growth, meaning money would have to be taken from elsewhere, leaving less for residents within city limits.

“They would be using our roads, our schools obviously, streets without really contributing to the tax base except for the school district,” she said.

Zachary Council has already voted on a recommendation to EBR’s Metro Council to deny the project.

The proposed neighborhood falls within Metro Council Member Chana Bank’s district. Banks, who also serves on EBR’s Planning Commission, said she is still trying to get all the information about the project but would like to hear more from residents and leaders in Zachary.

WAFB repeatedly reached out to D.R. Horton about the project, no one returned our calls.

The proposal went before EBR’s Planning Commission on July 19 but was deferred until August 16. Another proposed subdivision in Zachary was also deferred.

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