Growth, development and conservation lead discussions at City Council

Sonya T. Gordon

Development. Rezoning. Annexation. Conservation. The topics addressed at the Monday, July 26, meeting of the Gonzales City Council were all about growth and expansion, on improving the old and bringing in the new.

With efficiency and informed decisiveness, the City Council quickly burned through agendas for public hearings and then the meeting and votes regarding related ordinances and requests.  All issues that night were approved unanimously with no public speakers making remarks.

First up: A final vote passed regarding an amendment to an ordinance code on rezoning. Council members approved moving forward on a request to rezone a portion of a 14-acre section of the Edenborne Development. The land, overseen by the Edenborne Development Company, is located at the northwestern intersection of Highway 44 and Edenborne Parkway.

Brad Peck of Love’s Truck Stop has said placing a truck stop at the location could create 60 new jobs for the area. It also would bring significant sales and property tax revenue to the city, he said. He added that Love’s has many years of experience and a reputation for creating high quality developments of this kind. They are now qualified as being in an industrial zoning area.

The rezoning approval trend continued for the same development oversight at the meeting with a request to amend a code ordinance to rezone a separate 105-acre portion of the Edenborne Development. The site is located southwest of the River Parishes Technical College along Edenborne Development Parkway. Brian Nicolich with Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, representing the development company, has said the development is in keeping with the existing uses in the area and would bring jobs and economic development to the city.  A warehouse and distribution center may be planned for the area.

As part of the development firm’s interests, the land is owned by Reggie Wayne, a former National Football League player for the Indianapolis Colts with ties to this area. 

In addition, the Council passed an ordinance allowing an extension of the corporate limits of the city -- a parcel of 1.11 acres located on the north side of West New River Road at the western edge of the city limits.  The address is 1034 West New River Extended Road, according to the ordinance, which was recommended by the zoning and planning committees.  The request was made by property owner Blake Edward Jenkins. 

The issue can be traced back to when the entire site originally was within the city limits of Gonzales, including buildings and improvements.  After the one tract was split into two tracts only one remained in the city limits.  The two tracts currently are assessed at $2,480 for the current year.

The City Council has been busy in other planning and zoning matters recently, as well.  At the July 12 Council meeting, members voted to approve two nearly adjacent 11-lot parcels for use in building a subdivision.  One site is on the southern side of Worthey Street, 650 feet east of Darla Avenue.  The second location is on the eastern side of Darla Avenue, 650 feet south of Worthey Street.  The one objectional vote was by Councilman Tim Riley, who expressed some concerns about drainage.

At the same Council meeting, councilmen approved plans for subdivision lots making up the Heritage Crossing development.  It was approved unanimously.  The project involves 11.2 acres being divided into 54 residential lots and is located at the southwest corner of Highway 44 and Highway 30.

Also, according to the Engineer’s Report given to the Council members on July 26, the contract work with Concrete Busters of Louisiana on the Silverleaf demolition project is on schedule.  City Clerk Scot Byrd said the demolition of the subdivision, from utilities and foundations to roads and buildings, is being cleared off the land so it can be conserved in a more natural state.

Near the end of the meeting, Council adjourned into executive session for about 45 minutes to discuss the lawsuit of AP Gonzales, LLC, vs. the City of Gonzales with city counsel.  After returning to public session, the Council did not take any action nor discuss the matter.