Jones Creek homeowners to use drone footage to fight proposed subdivision

Updated: Dec. 7, 2017 at 5:25 PM CST
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Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Representatives from several subdivisions near Jones Creek hope drone footage, which shows the impact flooding had on their neighborhood last August, is enough to convince the Planning and Zoning Commission to reject plans for a new subdivision.

The video was taken on August 14, 2016, over the Country Manor subdivision off Stumberg Lane and Coursey Boulevard, shows the streets covered by water that came in from Jones Creek. Some 40 homes flooded.

What appears to be a large pond just behind the development is where local developer Steve Duplechain wants to build a new, 425-home subdivision called The Lakes at Jones Creek. Country Manor HOA President Mary Stewart, who provided 9News with the drone footage, wants the Planning and Zoning Commission to take note.

RELATED: August 2016 Flooding

"We hope they will look at that aspect of it and say to themselves if I were in their shoes how would I feel? Would I want this development in my backyard," Stewart said.

The proposed 178-acre site appears to be leveled and is already showing signs of progress. Just the thought of what might come next has ignited fear in people who live in several subdivisions that back up to Jones Creek.

President of Woodland Ridge subdivision off South Harrell's Ferry, M.E. Cormier, who flooded last year has been keeping a close eye on the planned neighborhood. She lives three houses down from Jones Creek.

"My daughter was eleven days old when we flooded. My son was less than three. He has lost everything he's ever known his entire life, every shirt he has ever had, every book he's ever read, every toy car he ever used. We'll never get that back," Cormier said.

Duplechain has tried to calm their fears at recent meetings saying his proposed plan is solid and backed by science. The city today released to 9News its Stormwater Master Plan, a possible fix to the area drainage problems.

It concluded, "Post-development flows to Jones Creek from the project site are significantly reduced by the ten proposed detention ponds. Therefore, the proposed development will not have an adverse impact on the surrounding watershed."

Those who have settled in the area including Jackie Yancey of High Woods subdivision, which is right next door to the new neighborhood, are not buying it.

"Driveways, walkways, streets, all of that natural drainage area is going to be taken away. In our minds, there is no way we can understand how his ponds are going to keep us from flooding and Jones Creek from rising," Yancey said.

The homeowners said they plan to make their voices heard when the proposal comes up for discussion at city's Planning and Zoning meeting on December 18.

Click here to read the Stormwater Master Plan.

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