Judge sides with residents, halts controversial Denham Springs development for now
DENHAM SPRINGS - A Livingston Parish judge has sided with residents seeking to temporarily negate parish approval for a controversial housing development, in Denham Springs, citing violations of parish zoning rules.
Judge Jeffrey Johnson's decision Tuesday effectively dissolved parish planning commission approval for the Deer Run development on 4-H Club Road near Hillon Hood Road. Among other changes, the development plan will need to include four driveways accessing the road due to the neighborhood's size, according to Steven Loeb, the lawyer representing the parish residents.
Loeb says the current Deer Run development plan would break several of the council's zoning laws.
"The ordinance right now says that for that size development since they have so many houses, they'd need four driveways. They only had three. And on the zoning its been zoned as a R1 property, that means 1 house per acre." And the way that the subdivision is designed, they would have a lot more houses per acre, like 2 and a half 3 houses per acre," says Loeb.
It's the latest blow in a fight over the 2,000-lot development, which neighbors fear would exacerbate traffic and drainage problems in the area. Earlier this month, the Livingston Parish Planning Commission approved the project despite pushback from residents.
"They're proposing building houses on 40-foot lots. You're basically trying to put a souped-up trailer park in District Five," one resident said.
The project is also at the center of a federal lawsuit filed by developer Ascension Properties, which is suing the parish and the council to overturn the current zoning.
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