Metrocouncil approves rezoning after Tubal Cain no show
BATON ROUGE - Metro Council members voted Wednesday night to approve rezoning the location of a proposed barge cleaning facility along the Mississippi River south of LSU, a move to stop its construction.
The 10-2 Metro Council vote comes after the Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday recommended rezoning the land on the other side of the levee from River Road and Brightside View Drive. Council members Ryan Heck and Joel Boe voted against rezoning the land.
Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel planned to vote against the rezoning, but when Tubal Cain showed up, she changed her mind.
""It may have been just God allowing this to happen so that both sides could see what the reality is when your under attack by industry and your whole livelyhood could change," she told News 2's Brett Buffington.
People living in the Brightside area turned out in force to several public meetings in order to oppose its construction, saying they were concerned about the air quality from cleaning operations and seeing their property values drop.
Banks-Daniel was worried that if the rezoning was approved, Tubal Cain would try to build the facility in North Baton Rouge instead, but Councilman John Delgado says there should be same support to keep the company from building there too.
"We're not going to have this coming into our community, we didn't want it coming in to anyone elses community either," he explains. "So we all need to be more sensitive to that."
Tubal-Cain Marine said they've already invested $4 million in the site, which is near BREC's Farr Park. DEQ officials said the proposed business didn't reach the threshold of pollutants needed to require public hearings.