EBR Planning Commission approves 2 new neighborhoods along Burbank Drive
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Planning Commission voted to approve two new neighborhoods along Burbank Drive.
The Winter Gardens subdivision will be developed west of South Kenilworth Parkway, South of Burbank Drive, and the Autumn Gardens neighborhood will be on the North side of Innovation Park Drive West of Sehdeva Memorial Drive. But several residents who live in the area worry the flooding there will only get worse.
“This is in the middle of a swamp, this is in the middle of a wetland, this area was inundated in 2016, and what we’re proposing right now is to build an island and that displaced water has got to go someplace,” said one concerned resident.
“We’re gonna basically be in a situation where we have one development higher to us on the East side and one on the West side and South side...we’re essentially gonna catch everyone’s water,” said another.
People are also worried about the area wetlands, forests, and potentially losing the natural flood retention. But developers and engineers working on the plans say they’ve taken the proper precautions. The Department of Development recommended approving the plans based on proposed detention ponds that will reportedly take in a lot of the water.
“The latest iteration of our plan has ponds at nearly 50% of our site. And the ponds were strategically placed in order to make sure the water flow is not interfered with at all. Out flood plain mitigation is going to meet and exceed all requirements of the East Baton Rouge Parish,” said Design Engineer, Derek Murphy.
“I don’t care how many detention ponds you put in that area...at some point and time the water has to go someplace else,” said a resident.
Although the presentation was enough for the majority of the panel to approve the plans, there were still some commissioners that weren’t buying it.
“I can’t fathom putting residents in harm’s way by building houses on this property. I just can’t wrap my head around why we would think this would be a good idea,” said Commissioner Kelvin J. Hill.
“I still can’t get past the concerns of flooding and how it impacts long-term just based off of what I have right now, so this is not something I’m able to support so I wanna second that,” said Commissioner Jayme C. Ellender.
According to Councilwoman Chauna Banks, because this was considered a small project and made no zoning changes neither plan needs further approval from the Metro Council.
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