Ascension council could soon vote on fill moratorium
ASCENSION PARISH - More than two years after the 2016 flood, parish council members are considering a temporary ban on certain types of developments. Councilman Aaron Lawler wants a moratorium on developers hauling outside dirt in to high risk flood zones to build houses on top.
"If you put dirt down in areas that are supposed to have water running through during storms, it's going to push the water into other houses," he said.
Ascension Parish allows outside dirt in flood areas if developers can mitigate the fill with their drainage systems. Lawler is skeptical of the standards and wants to ban the practice until LSU finishes a study on the issue.
"To figure out how much fill we should be using in our parish. The [study] will be complete in May," he said.
Thursday the Ascension Parish council sent the moratorium proposal to the Strategic Planning Committee with talk of voting on the issue by the end of the month.
Lawler says developers, many of them out-of-state companies, generally oppose the higher standards. He said home builders should ultimately return to elevated pier and beam style structures.
By law, a moratorium can only last six months regardless if new standards are enacted.
East Baton Rouge Parish does not allow outside fill in high risk flood areas.