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Residents implore East Baton Rouge to halt construction until city-parish improves storm drainage | News – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-06-23 22:00:00 –

Residents called on the East Baton Rouge Metro Council on Wednesday night to suspend new developments until the drainage system was strengthened to withstand flooding.

However, even after requesting the moratorium more than 20 times and discussing it for more than an hour, it is unclear whether the Metro Council will get clues from a nearby parish that has already suspended new construction.

“I have opposed the idea of ​​Moratorium, but I don’t think one member has reached out and opposed it,” said Dwight Hudson, a city council member. “Overall, members of District 9 want to see the Moratorium, but what’s lost in that conversation is the pros and cons.”

Discussions were booked Wednesday by discussions and presentations on addressing the city parish’s drainage problem, including approval of approximately $ 19 million in mitigation measures funded by the US Rescue Program.

Gonzales — The power of powerful tropical cyclones in the Gulf of Mexico has made Ascension the second parish in the Baton Rouge region …

Much of the focus was on updating council members on the parish’s Stormwater Master Plan and its progress.

The only partially completed plan includes regional hydrological data to inform the city parish on how to prioritize future flood protection projects.

A representative of an engineering company implementing the plan on Wednesday provided the Metro Council with up-to-date information on its work. This currently includes an assessment of the 11 major watersheds of the parish.

The data will help them understand the local stormwater system and identify flood risks, they said.

Officials said the plan should be completed by the summer of 2022.

Iberville and Ascension parish leaders recently adopted a temporary suspension of new construction in the face of flood concerns.

The one-year suspension of construction of the Iverville is concentrated in the eastern part of the parish. Ascension chose the 9-month Moratorium.

Extensive flash floods last month prompted discussions on building shutdowns after more than 13 inches of rain struck the Baton Rouge metro area. According to the city’s parish authorities, more than 1,200 homes and businesses were flooded during the storm.

Metro councilor Chauna Banks previously called Ascension’s approach a “kneeling reaction,” but wanted East Baton Rouge to avoid it.

“There is an implicit moratorium. There has been no development in my district for over 40 years,” she said. “I don’t want to get involved in the moratorium of the entire parish.”

The Iberville Parish Council has approved a one-year suspension of new construction on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. This is a movement that reflects the simile …

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However, the bank said it felt that certain flood-prone areas and neighbors needed a process of petitioning the city parish planning committee to stop construction until the drainage problem was resolved. ..

However, the Federation of Great Baton Rouge Citizens’ Associations lobbied for the entire parish moratorium and opposed the prospect of a fragmented approach.

“We need a regional solution,” Ed Lagcchi, president of the Citizens’ Association, told members of the council. “The period must be conditional on completing a series of deliverables, not a timeline.”

Zachary Smith, who lives near Staring Lane in Baton Rouge, has recently accused the city’s parish of not properly overseeing what he called “super-development.”

“And our city is lagging behind in maintaining our current infrastructure,” Smith said. “Tomorrow’s ground shovel does not mitigate the floods we are seeing now. Give us the option of a moratorium.”

Carolyn Rice, president of the Highland Ridge Homeowners Association, later told members of the council, “We trust you to do something. So that this doesn’t get worse than before, you I rely on doing what I need to do. “”

At the hearing on Wednesday, there were some dissenting opinions. A representative of the Greater Baton Rouge Homebuilders Association said the Moratorium would have another impact on their industry after being already affected by the recession during the pandemic.

Paolo Messina, a special aide to the Parish law firm, said it was “problematic” to approve a neighborhood-specific moratorium, adopting something in vague terms or suggesting something from a bank. I warned Congress not to imitate.

“[Moratorium]must be very specific to a defined area for a certain period of time in order to reach its goals,” Messina said. “A wide range of things will be challenged and we will definitely lose.”

Messina said she hopes that a legal challenge will be filed against the Moratorium of Iverville and Ascension.

Councilor Dennis Amoroso said it was the council’s responsibility to join the choir for a suspension and listen to the needs of the people.

“Our responsibility is not with the developers. The developers need us, we don’t need them,” she said.

Hudson said the time had come for the city’s parish to be honest with the general public, admitting that it allowed too long leaders to develop at substandard levels.

“If your house was built to the standards of a decade of storms … there’s nothing this council can do,” he said. “The state and federal governments can’t avoid the risk of flooding other than building houses. I’m sorry. If you don’t provide the proper funding to drain and maintain this parish, this is all smoke.”

It is unclear what the next steps will be after the hearing on Wednesday. The Metro Council has not yet announced when the issue will be discussed, let alone vote.

Residents implore East Baton Rouge to halt construction until city-parish improves storm drainage | News Source link Residents implore East Baton Rouge to halt construction until city-parish improves storm drainage | News

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