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Iberville Parish Council opposes Baton Rouge development

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PLAQUEMINE - The Iberville Parish Council approved a resolution Tuesday evening opposing a mixed-use development in an East Baton Rouge Parish special flood hazard area. The fear of increased flooding in his jurisdiction had Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso threatening to build a wall along the parish line this week.

The development, Kenilworth Crossing, would be built off Burbank Drive about five miles north of St. Gabriel in Iberville Parish. EBR building codes prohibit outside dirt-fill to be used for elevating structures so as not to exacerbate flooding.

Instead, the fill must be dug from retention ponds on the same site as the development.

"The codes don't cover everything. You can dig a hole but once it fills up with water, that's less area you have for runoff," said Iberville Parish Councilman Bart Morgan who represents the St. Gabriel area.

The council's resolution that developing in the special flood hazard area will increase the risk of flooding to their nearby neighborhoods is the same argument many worried homeowners have been making about similar developments since the 2016 flood.

In October the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning and Zoning Commission approved the development saying it met city-parish building standards. The applicant, Two Blind Mice LLC, argued they had met the same standards as other projects in the city-parish.

The development is now before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for approval.

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