Planning Commission approves rezone for @Highland, now heads to Metro-Council

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BATON ROUGE La. (BRPROUD) – After receiving pushback for new development, East Baton Rouge’s Zoning and Planning Commission gave the greenlight for @Highland to rezone their property.

The application to rezone was submitted in May and since then, people who live nearby have been vocal about the proposed changes.

According to documents, the plan includes 240 high density residential units that will be built on more than 28 acres of land.

The current building sits near the intersection of Highland Rd. and Bluebonnet Blvd. and is surrounded by green space. 

Under the proposed plan, the new structures will take up the remaining space and along with apartments, developers are looking to create 492 parking spaces, restaurants, retail and office spaces.

During Monday’s Commission meeting, the board announced they received 216 online comments opposing the project and nearly a dozen people verbally expressed their frustration inside the Library during the public comments portion of the discussion.

“This is really inappropriate development on residential Highland Road,” said Charles Perilloux who lives near the site.

Perilloux said he is not on board with the plans because the area has a history of flooding and new development won’t help the issue, rather hurt it.

“Man there isn’t no planning in Baton Rouge. There haven’t been any planning in Baton Rouge in over 50 years. If there have been, you wouldn’t have all of this stuff flooding and you wouldn’t have all of this traffic,” said Perilloux.

The intersection of Highland and Bluebonnet is heavily traveled and people who addressed the Commission said, construction will only create more congestion. 

Representatives for CSRS, the development company who submitted the application was on hand to answer any questions surrounding the development.

Vice President of Government and Advisory Practices for CSRS Walter Monsour said, despite the pushback under their current zoning they could still move forward with the project.

The renderings show a retention pond that would be expanded to potentially help with the drainage. 

Courtesy: CSRS, Inc.

“This development is not going to cause them any problems that they are not already having,” said Monsour.

Still residents feel, it’s not enough.

“You keep telling me that you’re planning. Come on folks, if you’re really planning, you wouldn’t have this problem,” said Perilloux.

The Commission approved the application as submitted and will now go before the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council on July 21st.

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