Cramming more people into our parish without adequate roads, sewer, and drainage for current residents is sure to make existing problems even worse.

There has been a Parish Master Plan for land use in Ascension since 1998. The plan was supposed to guide development into areas where it could be supported by existing infrastructure; roads, drainage and sewer. Nothing was further from the truth. Parish councilmen and for the most part; planning commissioners have ignored this master plan for almost twenty years. They are now spending almost a half million dollars to update the plan. Residents’ #1 concern expressed at master plan public meetings this summer was the current lack of adequate infrastructure throughout the parish. Citizens strongly opposed raising residential densities until adequate infrastructure is built.

On September 26, citizens were shown 4 alternative scenarios at a second public meeting related to how we will develop available land in the future.

Our current masterplan has three residential categories. 1.) Conservation, which is 1 house per acre. 2.) Rural, which has a density of 2 dwellings per acre, and Medium Density which allows 3 houses per acre. All four proposed scenarios shown will increase residential densities; adding new categories of 4 1/2 dwellings per acre in residential subdivisions, 7 1/2 dwellings per acre in small lot subdivisions and 9.6 dwellings per acre neighborhood hubs mixed with commercial, more than tripling each of our existing allowed densities.

We have all watched developments approved throughout our parish with “contingencies;” allowing developers to increase densities regardless of existing code. Cramming more people into our parish without adequate roads, sewer, and drainage for current residents is sure to make existing problems even worse.

Fellow citizens, please educate yourselves with the proposals in the updated masterplan. Get involved in the process and let your voice be heard. Adequate Infrastructure must be addressed first!!!

Theresa Robert, Educator

Gonzales, La.