Parish Council blocks small lot PUD

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Under public pressure, The Ascension Parish  Council declined at its regular meeting last week to adopt an ordinance amendment that would change the zoning designation of the Mossy Oak Planned Unit Development to a less restrictive PUD-Concept development.

If adopted the amendment would have allowed the PUD developer freedom to develop and sell smaller urban style lots and housing.

Before the council action, a large crowd of vocal Mossy Oak residents who waved placards against the ordinance change, warned council members of voting retaliation if the amendment passed.

Developers, including former parish councilman Jared “Burger “ Beiriger, who at previous meetings had asked the council to adopt the amendment, had promised to donate an area for a fire station to be built and to construct a right lane turn from the development to ease traffic flow.

At the meeting one speaker objected to over 80 percent of the proposed development being made up of 50-foot wide lots. Another said people were not against subdivisions, but rather the failure to the council and developers to following existing regulations.

Resident Greg Duplessis said opponents had a petition against the change with over 500 signatures.

He said opposition was not just from District 8 where the 62-acre site proposed PUD site is situated between Babin Road and Hwy 74 about a 1/2 mile west of Hwy 938.

Residents were “not against reasonable subdivisions,” according to Duplessis.  The issue was already overloaded roads and schools, he said.

“We need to permanently do away with PUDs, TNDs and SPUDs because they destroy the roads and character of the parish,” he said.

The council vote against the proposed amendment was unanimous, with member Kent Schexnaydre abstaining.  Three council members were absent.

Only council members George Valentine and Todd Lambert voted against the original ordinance adopted on Nov. 4 which permitted the PUD without the less restrictive PUD-Concept amendment.

In an unrelated matter, the council voted against amending an ordinance which would have allowed charitable electronic bingo in the parish.

Councilman George Valentine said amending the ordinance as proposed would interfere with the operations of family oriented bingo currently operating in Ascension.