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Ascension Parish passes controversial regulations for housing developments

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ASCENSION PARISH - One of the most restrictive and controversial regulations for new housing developments passed at the Ascension Parish council Thursday night. The regulations will limit how much dirt-fill can be used to elevate homes, something many people fear contributed to the 2016 flood. 

It limits the amount of dirt-fill used in elevating houses to three feet while requiring them to be built two feet above the base flood elevation. Pier and beam style construction will be required for houses that can't be elevated to that level with just dirt-fill.

Council members say the regulations will help ensure new homes will not go underwater in future floods. However, home builders say it's going to make those homes a lot more expensive, and it won't solve the flooding issue.

Back in January, Livingston Parish added stricter guidelines to new housing developments. Their parish council voted to require retention ponds near new neighborhoods to withstand more than double the amount of water than was originally required.

However, the Livingston Parish council shelved its own proposed dirt-fill restrictions last week. The City of Central is currently considering dirt-fill restrictions.

The new regulations in Ascension won't go into affect for another three months, and won't apply to preliminary plats approved in that time period. 

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