Developers in Ascension may soon get the green light to build
ASCENSION PARISH - A moratorium on new development comes to an end next month. The parish council voted for it in June to give some time to study traffic and drainage issues.
"In 30 years, we have literally doubled in size with no new infrastructure," District 6 Parish Councilman Chase Melancon said.
Since 2010, Ascension parish's population has grown by 2,000 people a year. The number of subdivisions and businesses have also grown wildly.
"We were allowing developments that did not make our community better but had effects on existing neighbors," Melancon said.
Melancon says the parish's building codes are outdated. Eight months ago, a moratorium set in place paused new plans.
Any developer who already had subdivided land or plans approved was still able to build during the moratorium, but the moratorium prevented anyone from subdividing land into new lots.
"We could have been allowing more development under the old codes which would cause more harm," Melancon said.
Major rainfalls have caused homes to flood in the last several years. The recent studies were meant to help solve drainage issues.
"We need to ensure we're not just having runoff, but we are holding the water for the same amount of time that the vacant property held before there was a development," Melancon said.
The new codes will be shown to the public during several open houses before the council votes on them.
"I think we'll have a red version. Existing and proposed, that way they can understand and ask questions," Melancon said.
During the Parish Council meeting on the 18th, the council will vote on the traffic codes and introduce the drainage codes.
The public will be allowed to voice their opinions, and the moratorium may be extended.
Residents have three opportunities to see the codes:
- Monday, March 14, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Oak Grove community center in Prairieville
- Tuesday, March 15, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ascension Parish administration building, Conference Center in Gonzales
- Wednesday, March 16, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ascension Parish Courthouse in Donaldsonville
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