Potential French Settlement subdivision causes concerns for neighbors

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2022 at 5:45 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - French Settlement residents are speaking out about plans to develop the Valere subdivision in the middle of their small, quiet community.

“There is a curve that is right here where an exit is proposed. It is very close in dangerous, dangerous situations,” Scott Lobell said.

Neighbors to the potential lots, like Lobell, have concerns about the development.

“Some of our biggest concerns are fire protection, school impacts, traffic impacts, and drainage impacts. We are a small community, this is going to be around 700 lots,” Lobell said.

Neighbors also point out the development should not be up for consideration with the parish planning department because right now there is a development moratorium.

“(There have been) so many changes to the design that local people feel like it should be considered as a new design, a new development, a new application, a new submittal,” Lobell said.

Parish President Layton Ricks said the development is up for a vote Wednesday because it was originally submitted before the moratorium started back in May.

“This development was in the process before the moratorium was put into effect and if it came in as under the new ordinance, it was allowed to be brought back because it was never presented. Had it been presented then it would not have been allowed to be on the agenda for the planning commission (Wednesday night) or on the council meeting for tomorrow night,” Ricks said.

Ricks said they have been working with the developer, Ascension Properties Inc., to make sure they follow rules in the new parish development ordinance.

“If this development has met (the ordinance requirements), then that means they are going to follow more stringent requirements as far as entrances, they are going to follow more requirements as far as drainage. All those things they will have to look at, and those really were the two biggest issues that most developments have,” Ricks said.

The moratorium ends July 27. No matter what happens Wednesday night at the planning meeting, according to Ricks, it is likely the development would still get approved, under the new ordinance, after the moratorium ends.

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