Gonzales City Council denies subdivision plat

Scott J. Anderson
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Gonzales City Council denied a preliminary plat for a 10.3 acre, 28-lot subdivision on Orice Roth Road adjacent to Gonzales Middle School at its meeting Monday night.

City of Gonzales

Councilmen Tim Riley, Harold Stewart and Tyler Turner voted in favor of denying the proposed subdivision. Councilman Johnny Berthelot voted against denying the proposal. Councilman Kirk Boudreaux abstained because he owns property in the area.

"Listening to my constituents, I feel like we have a way to go with drainage in the area," Turner said.

Riley said a lack of drainage improvements in the city was a factor in voting to deny.

"That's where the public safety, public health issues come in," Riley said. "I've filed more work orders for Kennedy Heights in the past month than the past four years for things that need to be done. So we do have a problem. We have to address it."

Before the motion to deny the plat was introduced, Berthelot made a motion to approve the plat with the condition that city work with the developer to stop water from flowing into Kennedy Heights. That motion failed to get a second and come to a vote.

"I don't know what would go there if not single family homes," Berthelot said. "He bought the property in good faith. It was zoned what it is today when he bought it. If these people meet every letter of the law, I'd rather see the city spend money to work with the developer to fix the problem to take water north of Orice Roth Road, if it's even achievable."

Berthelot agreed that drainage is an issue in the area. He provided a history of flooding problems in the area going back to before Kennedy Heights was annexed into the city.

"I think the number one issue in Kennedy Heights is drainage," Berthelot said. "Some people may say, 'Yeah, it is, but we also have traffic issues.' That's a state highway. We don't govern that highway.

"I can remember in the late '70s hauling sandbags and helping residents sandbag their homes. I bring that up because we had drainage issues even back then.

"We have and will continue to work to alleviate the drainage issues in Kennedy Heights. I view this proposed subdivision as a possible solution. I thought this might be an opportunity to finally stop the water from the north side of Orice Roth Road from going through Kennedy Heights."

Gary Murphy of Quality Engineering and Surveying, who represented the developer, said the developer met all the requirements of the law with the preliminary plat and drainage impact study.

"I just want to reiterate that this plat does meet the code," Murphy said. "It does meet every part of the ordinance. In fact, this project was when the city first started requiring a drainage impact study to be done with the preliminary plat. We did that even before it was required because we knew how sensitive drainage was in this area."

The council also approved the authorization to advertise for Construction Management at Risk Contractor Proposals for the Price LeBlanc PACE Center. City Engineer Jackie Baumann said the city will declare the budget for the project, and then contractors will submit proposals based on that budget.

Councilmen also approved a declaration making April 25 Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

The council also accepted Mayor Barney Gonzales' recommendation to appoint Ralph Beboux to replace Frank Cagnilotti on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The council heard a report on the recreation commission, which included updates on work needed at all of the city parks. The report also said 700 children are registered for spring softball and baseball.

Baumann also reported to the council that the Silverleaf demolition is on hold because Lathan Construction has filed an appeal after a judge upheld Concrete Busters receiving the contract.