Posted: Apr 9, 2012 5:53 PM by Stephanie Ryan
Updated: Apr 9, 2012 6:54 PM
LIVINGSTON-- Livingston Parish is up to 40 years behind where it should be when it comes to sewer, water and highway infrastructure, Parish President Layton Ricks said. He and other leaders believe it is time to form a comprehensive master plan for the growth of the parish, and they want your input.
"We don't wanna force anything down anyone's throats-- we wanna see now how they wanna see the parish grow, because it belongs to us all," Ricks said.
That plan could include zoning the parish, something that has never been done before. Some people think it's a good idea; they want to see growth that is controlled, especially when it comes to roads.
"It all works together. If you can't get around in your vehicle safely, it makes going shopping, going to school and going to work unsafe," Gary Dixon told News 2.
Others are uneasy about the possibility of zoning, like Cotton Patterson. He moved outside the town of Livingston because of the rural way of life. He owns cattle, chickens, horses and even has a well on his property. He worries zoning would bring unwanted businesses and traffic too close to his land.
"People in Livingston are used to traveling to Baton Rouge, traveling to Hammond, traveling to New Orleans for work, 'cause there wasn't nothing here," Patterson said. "If you bring it here, what's gonna happen?"
Ricks reassures that land such as Patterson's can be ruled "rural" to be kept the same. It's an option that Patterson said he would feel better about.
Those situations are why the parish is holding eight meetings over the next couple weeks. They want to hear from people like Patterson on how the parish should grow.
All the meetings start at 6:00 p.m. and run until 8:00 p.m. Monday night's meetings are at Denham Springs High School and Albany High School. Below is a list of other times and place for future meetings to hear from residents:
April 10: Live Oak High School and Doyle High School
April 11: French Settlement Elementary and Walker High School
April 19: Juban Park Junior High School and Springfield High School