Gonzales planning board denies approval of subdivision plat

Scott J. Anderson
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

A proposed subdivision took a back seat to drainage and traffic concerns Monday night as public input led the City of Gonzales Planning Commission to recommend not approving a preliminary plat and drainage impact study to the city council.

The planning and zoning commission held a public hearing on the proposed Chapelwood Estates, a 10.3-acre area on Orice Roth Road adjacent to Gonzales Middle School.

Joe Labbe, with Quality Engineering and Surveying, said the preliminary plat presented Monday with 28 lots was revised from the original 39 lots. Labbe said the change was a response to previous concerns about the development.

"We were looking at making a zoning change," Labbe said. "There was not a favorable response to our request. The feedback we were getting was 'Why not try to design something the way it is currently zoned?' We listened to those concerns."

Labbe said the design includes a retention pond that would hold water and control its release from the north side of the proposed development. He said the results of the study indicated the end result would be fewer drainage issues in the area.

"My main concern is all the people in the neighboring area," commissioner Scott Hughes said. "We're trying to get the drainage fixed for all of them top remedy the problems they are having. I don't want to see this put any more problems on them."

Several residents of nearby neighborhoods said fewer houses did not mitigate their concerns over flooding and traffic issues in the area.

"I understand what you're saying about the drainage study, but we still haven't done anything about the traffic," said Gloria Bailey. "The drainage is one thing. The traffic is something else."

Johanna Robinson said the area is overcrowded with houses already. She was concerned about both flooding and traffic in the area, particularly access to emergency medical care.

"There are too many houses," she said. "It's too congested. The drainage is horrible. You should see the back of my house when it rains.

"If something were to happen, who knows if they will live to get to Our Lady of the Lake. It is too congested. You need to make a conscientious decision to do the right thing."

Lindsey Weigand summed up the sentiment of many at the meeting.

"We can't hadnle any more water," she said. "We can't handle the water we have."

The preliminary plat and drainage impact study still will go before the city council next week, without the planning and zoning commission's recommendation.

The planning and zoning commission did approve a special use permit for a metal building at 808 W. Worthey Rd. for Hambrick Mortuary.