New Orleans, Louisiana 2022-05-21 05:00:00 –
When Layton Rix first moved to Denham Springs in the late 1970s, he was fascinated by the atmosphere of the small town. It reminded him of Kentwood’s hometown.
Rix, now President of the Parish of Livingston, says he often hears the same feelings from the locals. Many of the locals have spent their lives in historically rural areas. Currently, these residents are witnessing a burst of development that threatens to destroy what they love about their home.
Rix sympathizes, but he also said he had to consider the future. He wants five children and their children to live and stay in an economically prosperous parish.
“It’s common sense to look at the growth of the parish and understand how it works financially and the services you have to provide to people,” Rix said. “You have to keep growing because you have to run it like a business.”
However, its growth suddenly stopped.
On May 12, members of the Livingston Parish Council approved a 60-day moratorium aimed at halting almost all development, except for land divided among families.
The goal is to stop the flood of subdivision projects that have overwhelmed the council in recent months and led to tense, decisive public meetings. Without a biweekly battle in which members of Congress confront a large number of infuriated residents in the proposed neighborhood, the moratorium would theoretically have a little time to create a new, less disruptive development framework. Will give.
Tentatively, the council is holding workshops on various ordinances aimed at enforcing “responsible development,” including drainage and traffic checks. The goal they have repeatedly said is to help people who already live in the parish.
“It’s not at all suitable for the moratorium,” Rix said, but in the end he upheld the council’s decision and was pleased that it wouldn’t last long.
“In my opinion, stopping development is never a good idea,” he said. “It’s a good idea to be smart about it. If you don’t grow up, you’ll stagnate and die.”
The moratorium arose from months of inhabitants crowding meetings and urging elected officials to delay or stop the recent surge in development. Rix says there is good reason for these projects to dominate the debate.
last summer Ascension Parish imposed a 9-month building moratorium – When Other parishes discussed similar moves — The developer turned his attention to Livingston.At that time, members of the council were also in the process of creating The first zoning category of the parish In the case of unincorporated areas, the move is to ultimately tighten restrictions on who can build what and where.
The developers explained that they were eager to “ride a book” before new zoning laws and ordinances that made their lives more difficult were passed.
parish Already recording unprecedented growth The last 10 years, according to the latest census data. Even the devastating floods of 2016, when transplants arrived after Hurricane Katrina and destroyed most of the parish, did not reduce the parish’s population growth.
Rix welcomes growth, but the locals weren’t ecstatic.
Proposals for large-scale subdivisions ranging from 400 to 2,000 lots proceeded through the process leading up to the council. Their future neighbors loudly and violently opposed them..
They are afraid Further damage from floods, A known permanent problem in the parish.They are worried Traffic gets worse As more cars get crowded on the road.And they don’t want A school that has recently been rebuilt or repaired After the 2016 flood, there were too many students and I was overwhelmed.
“We are not against development,” resident Melanie Stuart, who told the council that it would be affected by the fragmentation recently proposed to the council. “We are against this huge and huge development that will destroy our parish and change our lives.”
Previously hesitant about alienating developers, council members have recently speeded up efforts to develop legislation that keeps developers away. The moratorium is just the latest step in trying to cope with this surge in development.
Organizations that sympathize with the developers have come out in opposition.
The Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce issued a statement on Friday against the inclusion of commercial real estate in the moratorium. It encourages a “quick solution” to lift the ban long before the 60-day timeline, and states that it would be costly if not lifted.
“Commercial development provides a source of revenue for the highly public service and infrastructure concerns pointed out,” the statement said.
The Chamber of Commerce added, “I am concerned about the economic implications of this action and the potential disruption in the pipeline of projects within the parish.”
“Overall, moratorium policies exacerbate housing shortages and raise housing costs,” said Karenjit, chairman of the Greater Baton Rouge Housing Construction Association, in a statement. The association does not want to extend the moratorium and is ready to work with the council, Jito added.
“The ability of Livingston Parish to provide safe, affordable and quality housing options to current and future residents is key to building responsible growth and sustainable communities,” she said.
Mr Rix said he was confident that the council would work in the best interests of all parties.
“The parish is ready to continue to grow, whether we like it or not,” Rix said. “So we should do it right.”
Livingston Parish just passed a temporary development moratorium. What does that mean? | News Source link Livingston Parish just passed a temporary development moratorium. What does that mean? | News