Large, new development brings infrastructure concerns
GONZALES - Contractors are ready to break ground on a new development in Gonzales, but people who live nearby are worried about the traffic and flooding impact it will have on the area.
Southern Lifestyle Development, best-known for River Ranch in Lafayette, is set to start construction this summer on Conway Plantation. It will be located on the city's largest piece of undeveloped land, a cattle ranch off I-10.
Developers offered a plan at a meeting recently to ease traffic concerns but neighboring property owners are skeptical and made that clear at Monday's planning and zoning commission meeting.
"I'm not anti-development," said Ernest Allen, Gonzales resident. "But, I would like to have more information about how they're going to tackle these problems."
Developers plan to ease traffic worries by adding a two-lane roundabout at the entry of the development and expanding Highway 44 from I-10 South to Highway 941.
Some residents at the meeting were hopeful the changes will not only help their already over-burdened roadways, but also encourage the state to move forward on projects to expand the interstate; however, not everyone was so optimistic.
Allen doesn't believe the traffic will automatically improve and worries about issues developers refused to address.
"I understand they are going to address that issue but that is going to be a major issue even when this is being developed," Allen said. "I asked how it would impact the development, no one answered."
The zoning commission seemed sold on the development Monday and said construction will most likely begin this summer, explaining concerns were about infrastructure, not development.
However, the city council has the ultimate say on Conway Plantation.