Homeowners attempt to stop rezoning of @Highland property over flooding concerns

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:41 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A group of homeowners along Highland Road is attempting to halt the rezoning of property at the corner of Bluebonnet Boulevard and Highland over concerns new development will cause increased flooding.

The owner of the @Highland property is seeking to rezone the property, paving the way to build a 240-unit apartment complex, along with commercial space for retail and restaurants. The owner, Mohit Vij, already has approval from the parish to construct a seven-story high-rise building on the property. It would include equal parts commercial office space and apartments. An office building is already on the property.

“Building another unit with more concrete that runs water four times as fast off, which it has nowhere to go, basically the system is clogged up and that needs to be addressed,” said Brent Honore, a Baton Rouge developer and spokesman for the group of homeowners opposing the rezoning efforts.

District 12 Councilwoman Jennifer Racca said the strife over the proposal is complex but she believes the new proposal is likely better in terms of flood risk. She cited the plans increased green space and flood mitigation measures. She added she has not made a decision on how to vote on the rezoning measure, though.

“They say they can put a seven-story building there right now. Ok, we’d rather see a seven-story building than what they want to change to,” explained Honore.

At its core, Honore and the group of homeowners are betting the property owner would not build the high-rise immediately, giving time for East Baton Rouge Parish to address its drainage woes, mitigating any flooding impacts neighboring residents would see.

WAFB reached out to developer CSRS about the concerns. As of now, no one has responded to those requests.

The proposal goes before Metro Council on Wednesday, July 21.

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