LETTER: Reader opposes Master Plan

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The more I learn about the proposed Master Plan for Ascension Parish the more convinced I am that this plan will take our parish in a direction far from its roots: rural character, wonderful people and rich culture.

The proposed plan caters to new communities or “centers” called small towns, villages and hamlets with high density of up to 14 dwellings per acre, but has no workable plan to solve our existing infrastructure problems.

I live off Hwy 44 near Hwy 42 within a ten minute radius of five of the proposed 17 centers. I can’t even imagine the traffic nightmare this plan will create. Government’s power and size are increased with less accountability in the 160 pages of “Plan Ascension.” With this document to guide them, officials will steer every decision about the future growth of our parish. The best way I could describe it would be like giving the keys of a Porche to a 10-year-old.  Unthinkable.

Historically, high density development or urbanization has been the beginning downward spiral that destroys communities.  People came to Ascension Parish to get away from city life. The Federal government through funding and incentives wants to transition rural communities to urban areas.  Like the Pied Piper their promises of money may be music in the ears of our officials, but where will these plans lead us?

After reading the documents and attending meetings for over a year I believe that this plan will not solve our problems, but only create more.

We can’t blame the existing plan which has not been followed, but we can hold our appointed and elected representatives accountable. Local officials have failed to address the serious problems with infrastructure that we live with daily.  Will Ascension Parish officials sell us down the river for some promised grant money that makes them appear as if they are solving our problems or will they truly listen to the people in the upcoming public hearings?

Inform yourself, look at the land use map, make a phone call, and attend one of the twelve public meetings scheduled in August and September to find out what this plan has in mind for your future in Ascension Parish.  

Ellen Rushin