Ascension homeowners pushing for new floodplain ordinance
GALVEZ - Homeowners and developers had a final shot Wednesday night to voice their concerns to the Ascension Parish Council on their upcoming vote on a development ordinance in flood-prone areas.
The new ordinance puts restriction on dirt-fill for elevating new houses. The ordinance also includes proposals for new home elevation in flood zones and fill mitigation inspections, which includes detention ponds.
Debate on the new ordinance mostly stems from the 2016 flood, and homeowners like J.L. Gates in Galvez remember that flood well.
“When that water got to that grass, right to that corner right there, another six inches and it would've put it in the floor of the house,” Gates said.
Gates partially blamed the developers of the subdivisions going up around him who have been using dirt to elevate the new homes.
“Another six inches of water, that's fine they said, but if everybody's else got their houses raised up, who is that going to? Not in that pond,” he said.
For Gates, the issue is that new developments are being built so high that it leaves their neighbors' homes at the bottom of the bowl. With more subdivisions on the list for approval, residents are worried they'll be left to sink or swim.
More developments are on the docket for approval, and others are already under construction. If approved, the new rules give developers just two months to cap dirt-fill at three feet.
Although some residents don't agree, Councilman Dempsey Lambert said the parish is looking out for its citizens.
“We're looking out for the safety of our residents. You know we're not trying to get anyone or put them in any harm's way,” Dempsey explained.