Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Family goes before EBR planning commission over flooding concerns with new development

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BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge family was opposed to town homes being built right next door to their backyard without hiring a third party engineer. 

“We're not saying we're anti-development. All we're saying is we want to do it right.Let's do it right the first time. It's too much to lose. Let's not rush this,” homeowner Kevin Burkes said.

Kevin and his dad went before the city planning commission during Monday's meeting opposing the Lancaster developments request to build town homes on Industrialplex boulevard.

“My main concern here is to make sure we don't mess it up. If we mess it up, I pay the price. My house floods,” homeowner Tom Burkes said.

“We've had two flooding events over the last 20 years. Most recently was last year. The property behind our house has jurisdictional wetlands. When we take a wetland and fill it with concrete and field material when it storms it's going to flood our house,” Kevin explained. 

The developer, who didn't want to speak on camera, said they've done their due-diligence to make sure they have adequate drainage. 

“We are going to realign that ditch and rededicate a public drainage servitude for the entire ditch. we're going to clean it out, widen it, and make the drainage better for the area,” developer Mickey Robertson said.

The family wants time to hire a third-party engineer to go over the developer's drainage plan and make sure it won't cause flooding for their home, but everything the developer presented goes with the parish's unified development code requirements. 

“I cannot hold him up when he's done what he was supposed to do,” District 2 Councilwoman Chauna Banks said.

Banks made a motion to approve the request, which was unanimously voted in favor of.


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