BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – After Iberville and Ascension parishes approved new development moratoriums, East Baton Rouge Parish could be next in line.
On Wednesday, the East Baton Rouge Metro Council will consider a moratorium and if adopted it will take effect Sept. 1, 2021, and stay in place for 12 months.
This plan has been talked about for months and heavily considered since the recent flooding in May.
“We need to hit a pause button,” said District 3’s East Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Rowdy Gaudet.
Gaudet, along with colleagues Councilman Dwight Hudson, Councilwoman Jennifer Racca, Councilwoman Denise Amoroso, and Councilwoman Carolyn Coleman, is looking for ways to alleviate flooding.
“The intent behind this moratorium is a 12-month period to really incentivize developing away from flood hazard areas, from flood zones,” said Gaudet.
Back in May heavy rainfall inundated the parish, causing flooding in areas including an underpass where a man drove into the water and drowned.
“You had areas that had never flooded before. People have lived there 30 plus years never took on water, that took on water,” said Gaudet.
According to the agenda:
“Imposing a temporary moratorium for new land development approvals for specified projects within the defined special flood hazard areas, and providing for enhanced drainage design requirements within the special flood hazard areas, for a period of twelve (12) months beginning on September 1, 2021, in order to establish revised development standards in conjunction with the delivery of the parish wide Storm water Master Plan.”East Baton Rouge Metro Council Meeting Agenda
“A parish-wide moratorium wasn’t what we wanted here. We didn’t want to completely impact the development industry. We get data from our storm water master plan which is really going to inform how we develop and policies that we implement going forward,” said Gaudet.
Although it will only cover certain areas and won’t stop all development, Gaudet said this plan is the perfect middle ground.
“We are the capital city, we’re going to continue to grow economic development, something we want to continue in this parish and so we don’t want to put a stranglehold on development either,” said Gaudet.
The Metro Council meeting will be taking place tomorrow at 4 p.m.