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Resignations put an Ascension commission at a standstill

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ASCENSION PARISH - Four of the seven members of the Planning & Zoning Commission publicly announced their resignations days of each other.

Commissioners Donald Songy, Robert Burgess, Gasper Chifici and Joshua Ory are all stepping down, putting the commission at a standstill. It needs at least four members to reach a quorum.

The resignations come just days after an online petition, titled "Traffic Nightmares" started going around, calling for an entirely new commission. Jeff Pettit, the creator of the petition, says the group is approving the development of new subdivisions without first addressing the traffic issue.

"I'm not against growth, I'm for responsible growth," said Pettit.

The Attorney General's Office is now evaluating the concern brought about by the petition.

Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman Matt Pryror says the recent resignations have nothing to do with it.

"For two of them, they didn't resign," said Pryor, "they told us a long time ago this would be their last term."

As for the other two, Chafici says he has a business conflict, and Joshua Ory points at the fact he wants to spend more time with his family.

Until the four positions are filled, the commission responsible for managing one of the state's fastest growing parishes will have to keep business at a standstill.

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