Ascension Parish president proposing year-long ‘moratorium on all new residential and commercial construction’

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GONZALES, La. (BRPROUD) – The last severe weather event in the area left parts of Ascension Parish with over eight feet of water.

In response to what followed from the storm, Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment is putting forward the idea of a “12-month moratorium on development in Ascension Parish.”

The proposal from President Cointment is going to be on the agenda at this week’s Ascension Parish Council Meeting which is taking place on Thursday, June 3.

Details about the proposal can be found below:

The moratorium is necessary to give parish government time to consider all the aspects of the combined impact of additional development and increased frequency of severe weather events currently being experienced in Ascension Parish. During the moratorium, the following concepts will be considered and addressed:

  • Assessment of a potential Drainage Impact Fee – The money produced can only be spent to offset the drainage impact of new developments and can go only to projects identified in advance. While we recognize that our drainage ordinance is written is such a way that new developments are supposed to be designed to reduce the flow of water off-site; evidence suggest that this isn’t enough, and more needs to be done to improve the capacity of our drainageways.
  • Density Adjustments – Consideration of reducing residential density across all zoning classifications – Understanding that a base density of 3, 2 or 1 unit per acre is easier to calculate, parish government will explore alternatives to determine development density by considering all of the factors that affect each piece of property (road width, flood zone, wetlands, servitudes and easements, etc.)
  • Address Subdivision Construction Specifications – These specifications were adopted in June of 2017 and need to be reviewed and improved. Consideration will be given to addressing off-site drainage through a subdivision by increasing the stormwater detention requirements, upstream and downstream impacts and site design.
  • Regional Stormwater Detention – Other communities have figured out ways to purchase properties to expand the capabilities of detaining excess flood waters. Ascension Parish has potential locations that could benefit from this type of drainage feature and we should understand the ramifications and possibilities of implementing this type of system.
  • Review of the fill ordinance – In Sept 2019, the fill ordinance was revised and it was understood at that time, that work still needed to be done.

The Ascension Parish Council Meeting begins at 6 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the Ascension Parish Courthouse for the meeting, it will be streamed live right here.

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