Council halts new projects in Ama

Says growth study needed for future development

October 11, 2007 at 10:24 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The St. Charles Parish Council approved a moratorium preventing new development in Ama until a land use study is complete. But Parish Planning and Zoning Director Mike Henderson says that doesn't mean permits can't be issued to move mobile homes into the community.

"If someone already has a permit to put in 30 trailers on his property and he’s only got 28, we can’t stop them from putting in two more," he said.

The zoning policies came as a surprise to residents, because of the west bank community's lack of growth since the parish zoning ordinance was adopted in 1981. The River Road community of 1,285, which rests on the Jefferson Parish line, has had a net gain of only two residents since 1980.

The Parish Planning and Zoning Department plans to hire a consultant to look at land use of the area as part of a major review of the parish's land use plan.

"Ama is first on the list," said Councilman Brian Fabre, who wrote the ordinance.

Residents became upset earlier this year when they discovered that a trailer park for transient workers had been approved by the council in late 2005.

"The moratorium prevents anyone from starting a new development in Ama,” Fabre said. “They can apply to do the work, but it's put a hold on it until a land use study is complete.”

Fabre said a land use study hasn't been done in Ama since the early 80's.

“So it is time to do a new study," he said.

In 1981, Fabre says most of Ama was zoned for mobile homes.

"Now we'll do a new study, with new population figures for the parish and the feelings of the parish in keeping with the direction it needs to grow, and come up with a plan on how to best develop every area parish,” Fabre said. “But Ama will be first on the list to be studied," he said.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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