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Diocese pulls archive building rezoning request, will reschedule

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BATON ROUGE - An application to make a rezoning modification to property owned by the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge was pulled from Monday's Planning and Zoning commission meeting.

The property located on Parker Street near Hundred Oaks is currently zoned A-1 residential. The Diocese is planning to build an 8,000 sq/ft archive building to store church records.

It's sparked the attention of residents living in the Hundred Oaks area who like the idea of an archive building, so long as it's not in their neighborhood.

"It would tower over my home, it would just dwarf all the houses around it," Vicky Valle who lives next door to the property in question says. "It's going to be a problem for the neighborhood at large."

Valle heard the Diocese was planning to build next to her house months ago and says she would like to keep her neighborhood where people enjoy running and walking residential. Others agree an archive building would be nice.

"I think it's a great idea," Olivia Doucet says.

But like Valle, they also worry more construction would negatively impact the neighborhood.

"Traffic might get worse," said John Thomas says.

The item was pulled from Monday's agenda after the Diocese did not have an opportunity to meet with Metro Councilman LaMant Cole, who represents the district.

Cole tells WBRZ people living around the Diocese "have been very deliberate in terms of what they want, and it's my interest to support the people."

Diocese Chief Financial Officer Joe Ingraham says the archive building would attract a few volunteers, visitor and scholars every year and employ three people.

"This is going to be such a low-impact project," said Ingraham. 

The Diocese says it is not dropping the project and will reschedule at a later date.


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