Now that new Livingston Parish development has passed, what's the plan for infrastructure?
DENHAM SPRINGS - Thousands of new homes are coming to Livingston Parish, passed under old ordinances. Now that all these developments have been approved, some people are questioning what's next.
Denham Springs resident and Livingston Parish School Board President Cecil Harris says many people are worried.
"There's just not enough infrastructure to handle what's coming in here," Harris said.
The latest news is the passing of Deer Run, a 2,023 lot subdivision off of 4-H Club Road which is a two-lane highway. The neighborhood was met with controversy, but ultimately passed after parish leaders found that the developer met all requirements.
People like Harris, who live along 4-H Club Road and drive the stretch daily, are questioning what is being done to accommodate all of that growth and mitigate the flooding.
"It's just so many people coming into a small area," Harris said. "We're going to have to build another high school and another elementary and junior high, but where are we going to get the money to build it?"
Deer Run would utilize a private sewer treatment plant with discharge to the Amite River. Storm water will be collected by drains and underground pipes and transported to six proposed ponds in the development.
So far this year in Livingston Parish, more than 5,400 homes have been approved. Many of those developments are still in the beginning stages and permits have not been filed.
Next to Deer Run, Nickens Lake is being built and approved in phases. Turn lanes were added near the subdivision entrance to accommodate all of the additional traffic. Harris is concerned turn lanes won't be enough for additional traffic in Deer Run.
"It's really hard to get out and get on the street to move around the community," Harris said.
Harris says they are projecting an additional 1,000 students entering the Livingston Parish school system with the building of Deer Run. He says the school system is already stretched thin and fears these new neighborhoods could overcrowd the schools.
"Our classrooms are going to be overflowed because we can't build any more classrooms right now and so we're going to have a teacher shortage and an overcrowding situation," he said.
In some situations, neighborhoods have been passed in fear of litigation.
At least two lawsuits have already been filed by concerned residents. One suit involves the approval of the Valere subdivision in French Settlement and questions state law and whether that law or the parish charter has legislative authority. It'll be up to a judge to decide.
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