Planning and zoning commission denies rezoning of former Sherwood Forest Country Club
BATON ROUGE - Residents in Sherwood Forest voiced their concerns regarding a proposed neighborhood development.
The Metro-Council Zoning and Planning Commission took their concerns into consideration as they denied a zoning change that would have added nearly 300 homes to the area.
Residents packed a usually quiet meeting, uniting in one voice to express their disapproval of a re-zoning that they felt was simply too risky.
It was standing room only in Metro-Council’s chambers, as hundreds of concerned residents flocked in to make sure their voices were heard.
“We’re all about proper planning, we just don’t feel like this is the right plan,” one opponent said.
After receiving 104 cards of opposition, along with a petition containing around 1,300 signatures, the planning and zoning commission decided to squash the idea of rezoning the Former Sherwood Forest Country Club golf course.
“The rezoning for this high density development would not be an enhancement to our subdivision but a determent,” one opponent said.
That rezoning would have allowed for more houses, 276 in total, in smaller sized lots. Some of the concerns raised by residents included issues regarding: property value, traffic, and the big one, flooding.
“The golf course property has served for 60 years as a servitude of drainage for Sherwood Forest home,” one opponent said.
During the 2016 flood, many homes in Sherwood Forest flooded, including the area where most of the proposed subdivision would go.
“1,500 families, homes flooded in our neighborhood. Four, five, six feet of water, hundreds and hundreds of homes took six feet of water,” another opponent said.
Though proponents for the rezoning say all of those concerns have been addressed, residents weren't convinced. The commission felt similarly, saying that the outpouring of public input during Monday's meeting was not something they see regularly.
“The opposition is overwhelming, and that says a lot for some of the issues we hear,” Rowdy Gaudet said.
Residents, like Kathy Balhoff, are satisfied with their small victory.
“It’s pride for our neighborhood. It’s all that we want. Safety and security for our families, our children,” Balhoff said.
The developer said they would still move forward with a subdivision on that property. But without the rezoning, a lot less homes can be built there.