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EBR moratorium proposal revised, some want more harsh guidelines

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BATON ROUGE - A year-long halt on construction in flood-prone areas is on the table for East Baton Rouge Parish.

Councilman Rowdy Gaudet, along with council members Amoroso, Coleman, Hudson, and Racca, put the item on the books earlier this month. Wednesday, they introduced the updated version.

"This is not a parish-wide moratorium that's gonna stop development. This is a more targeted and frankly more strategic approach,” Gaudet said.

Currently across the parish, developers building in a flood zone have to build to a 25-year flood event standard.

The proposed moratorium would not stop developers from building, just change the requirements.

"What this moratorium calls for is that if you want to build in a targeted flood zone for this 12 month period, you have to go to four times the amount. You build to a 100-year storm event,” EBR resident John Daigle, said that's not enough.

"These are the most high-risk flood-prone areas, and we shouldn't be developing them anyway,” Daigle said.

Daigle wants a moratorium because he's dealt with flooding himself, but, he says, this is not it.

"Well my first problem with it, and it's a big one, is that it's not a moratorium. A moratorium means a halt for some time. This would allow projects to continue to be approved into these same special flood hazard areas. It would just set new standards for the drainage design.”

Should the moratorium be implemented, it would accompany the parish's $20 million stormwater master plan to help mitigate flooding.

The proposal will be up for public comment Sept. 8.

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