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Road widening outside of controversial Ascension Parish subdivision doesn't quell concerns, some residents say

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GONZALES - The now-cleared field of dirt that sits along Cannon Road near Roddy Road doesn't sit right with homeowners nearby.

"It's kind of a nightmare for locals," Kacy Stafford said.

Stafford lives across from the future site of Windermere Crossing, a 103-home subdivision that was approved by the parish's planning commission in January 2021.

"I just wish that they would've built the subdivision elsewhere," Stafford said.

Stafford and many others spoke out last year before the vote, expressing concerns over drainage and congestion in the area.

"Putting that many houses in an already stressed area is just not right," Patricia Peno told 2 On Your Side last year.

After the project was approved, it was decided the only entry and exit to the subdivision would be along Cannon Road.

"It is already a very narrow road," Stafford said. "So we've already had issues driving on it with two people. "Basically, you run off the road because it's so small."

Ascension Parish officials announced Monday an agreement with the developer to widen Cannon Road to 20 feet in width from Roddy Road to Highway 44.

The developer, Dantin-Bruce Development, LLC, will cover the costs and perform the work, which the parish will monitor.

The widening is something residents like Stafford have wanted for quite some time. However, she's worried the incoming subdivision will dilute the impact of a wider road by adding more congestion to the already busy area.

"I can't imagine with 103 homes, that's 200-plus cars ... what that's going to bring," Stafford said.

Peno, who lives on the other side of the subdivision, has similar concerns related to flooding and traffic. She expects more cars to use Black Bayou Road, where she lives, once new neighbors begin moving in and using Cannon Road.

"They will come to this road to get either into Gonzales, to Baton Rouge or to go to St. Amant," Peno said. "So, it will increase traffic."

With not much room to work with, homeowners wonder how the road widening will work. They say this may be the parish's way of placating those who didn't want the subdivision built in the first place.

"It's not really a solution," Stafford said. "They could totally build this neighborhood somewhere else. They're already clearing out all of the land to build these homes before they even started on any type of work on the road."

As part of the agreement, Ascension Parish says no homes can be built until the widening project is finished.


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