Reader concerned over developments at Mossy Oaks Subdivision

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

In all of my thirty-nine years as a resident of Ascension Parish I have never needed an attorney until recently. I live on Babin Road next to the property of the proposed Mossy Oaks Subdivision. The last four months climaxed on Jan. 31 when many of my neighbors and I found ourselves sitting in a courtroom. Why would ordinary citizens need to hire an attorney to defend our Planning and Zoning Commission when they have legal counsel? I have struggled to answer that question.

 Anyone who has heard about the proposed subdivision knows it has problems, poses possible numerous health and safety issues to the area, increase traffic congestion, and make our drainage problems worse. This property fills with water in some places up to four and five feet during heavy rainfall. Many residents, including myself, have seen that developers rule in our community, and now the attorneys have raised their threats and bullying to a new level. What a mess.

The residents of Babin Road, Hwy 74, and the surrounding area stepped up and hired legal counsel to help the Commission defend themselves, because their appointed counsel did not leap into action. The Commission’s legal counsel is an assistant to the District Attorney. Her one page argument was pitiful. After reading it, I questioned if she was committed to defending our cause. I knew if the citizens didn’t get involved the truth would never be heard.

In the end we did not have our day in court. The hearing never took place. The attorneys cut a deal in the back room, without even discussing all of the conditions of the deal with the Commission Chairman who was one of the defendants. Can an attorney settle without consulting his client? Is this ethical? I think a letter to the Ethics Board is in order. I would encourage the Chairman to protest the actions of his legal counsel with a letter to the Ethics Board. I’d be willing to provide the pen, paper and postage. The people of our parish deserve better than this. I wonder if our District Attorney, Mr. Babin, is looking into this matter?

Matt Michel