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WBR Planning and Zoning Commission denies recommendation for mixed-used development

5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Tuesday, April 03 2018 Apr 3, 2018 April 03, 2018 8:57 PM April 03, 2018 in News
Source: WBRZ

PORT ALLEN - It was a packed house at the West Baton Rouge Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting Tuesday night. Dozens, with standing room only, showed up in opposition to a proposed mixed-used development.

Southern Lifestyle Development is looking to build on 150 acres of land along LA-1 near Emily Drive in Port Allen. The development would include 300 homes, 400 apartment units, retail shops, restaurants and possibly an elementary school.

Prescott Bailey with Southern Lifestyle Development says the project could bring in more than $4 million in taxes to the parish.

"How you can bond that out and put that to use, that goes a lot longer than $4.5 million a year," said Bailey. "You can bond that revenue stream over time and use that to do very impactful projects in your parish."

The problem is, commission members, along with dozens of residents near the proposed sight fear it could increase traffic along LA-1 and the Intracoastal Canal Bridge.

"The traffic might become increasingly desperate to get out, especially in emergency situations" said Andrea Smicker of Port Allen. "We also have children, I know things change but we have a lot of children down this street and obviously our safety for them is our greatest concern."

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously not to recommend the project to the council. However, the developer can still bring it in front of the council next Thursday. Bailey told WBRZ they will make that decision later this week.

If it does get approved, Southern Lifestyle Development said they will spend $1 million to improve LA-1.

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