Parish council revises subdivision regulations

Brandie Richardson @B_Lifestyles

     The Ascension Parish Council passed an ordinance last week that revises the subdivision regulations in the unified land development code. Under the new changes, developers will be required to submit their preliminary plats 60 days prior to planning department hearings, as opposed to the previous deadline of 35 days.

     Planning and Development Director Richard Compton told the council that the department needs more time to review applications prior to the Planning Commission hearings, as they are currently understaffed.

     “We’re understaffed and overworked,” Compton said. “We’re getting entirely to much development pressure and we don’t have enough people to do adequate reviews in a timely fashion. Right now we are swamped.”

     He noted that reviews take time, especially drainage and traffic studies.

     Another ordinance was passed amending the revisions to the zoning tables in the unified development code. The new ordinance will eliminate the ability for recreational vehicles to be permanent housing on individual residential lots. If a individual wants to reside in an RV full-time they must be located at a mobile home or RV park, as opposed to a residential lot, Compton said.

     He said that an exception is that if a new house is being constructed on a lot and the owner wants to live in an RV until it's built, they can do so after they receive a short-term variance permit from the Board of Adjustments. Once the building is complete, the RV will no longer be able to be a permanent resident.

     Mike Hebert from the LSU AgCenter updated the council on the upcoming District Livestock Show. Hebert said that there will be 400 FFA and 4-H members at the event showing 600 livestock animals.  The Show will be held at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center on Feb. 4-6.

     A motion was approved to accept a sub-grant agreement with Church United for the Louisiana Emergency Solutions Grant Program that assists families that are homeless or going through a housing crisis.

     Two ordinances were introduced amending the Ascension Parish zoning map from traditional neighborhood development to medium intensity residential on lot two located on the north side of La. 22, approximately 6,000 feet west of La. 44, and from traditional neighborhood development to mixed use corridor on the south side of La. 22, approximately 6,000 feet west of La. 44. 

     An amendment to the Ascension Parish zoning map was approved changing the map from rural to mixed-use corridor to a portion of the Price LeBlanc property for Smith Tank and Steel Real Estate, located on the north side of La. 30, approximately 2,900 feet west of US Highway 61.

     The next Parish council meeting will be held on Feb. 4 at the Ascension Parish Courthouse in Donaldsonville.