Planning and zoning is on the right track

March 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

St. Charles Parish could be one of the most beautiful areas of the nation. It is a natural wonderland with bayous, swamps, marshes, giant oak trees, lakes, and of course, ole man river running through it.

The main problem has been that many property owners have not added to that natural beauty. So as a result, the parish planning and zoning department is getting serious about changing the scenery.

Officials have already closed in on 354 of 483 violations to the planning and zoning code. These include abandoned houses, junk and debris, high grass, zoning violations and derelict vehicles. Fifty more are now being investigated.

Some years ago, under the administration of Parish President Kevin Friloux, the planning and zoning director, Dave Mekarsky, laid out a plan for emphasizing the natural beauty of our parish by restricting unsightly treatment of property. He sought to limit the size and locations of  signs that gave the parish too much of a commercial look.

His plan would have added to the restful atmosphere of our parish by minimizing interruption of the peaceful flow as one drives along our beautiful countryside.

But Mekarsky’s plan did not materialize. Too many business owners wanted big signs close to the main roadways to attract customers.

Actually, having a beautiful parish would attract more business than the biggest of signs and other invitations to shop. Perhaps we should reconsider Mekarsky’s plan.
But planning and zoning is on the right track by requiring property owners to get rid of their unsightly premises. After all, other residents should not be forced to look at them. It interferes with the enjoyment of their own property.

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