Residents happy with education, not with transportation, results show
The forums, which were held from Aug. 18 until Oct. 12, were designed to frame the vision of the parish’s 20-year land use plan. After tabulating comments from those meetings, which included 160 student responses, the parish now knows which direction to head.
“I was pleased but did not expect the level of consensus on issues among the different communities,” Planning and Zoning Director Kim Marousek said. “After we completed the main public outreach effort in August, the Steering Committee decided to go back out to several communities that seemed under-represented: Ama, Hahnville and Bayou Gauche. Although the turnout in those meetings was relatively light, it was surprising how consistent their comments were when compared to the other comments from the earlier public meetings.
“This re-enforced to me and to the Steering Committee that we were hearing main ideas commonly held among parish residents.”
The results showed that residents were proud of the parish’s friendly, small town atmosphere and were near enough to New Orleans in case they wanted to take part in some urban activities such as shopping or concerts.
Education was also a big plus to many who commented, saying that the area has a high-quality public education system, good school facilities and sports programs and offers the ability to partake in the outstanding activities offered at the Satellite Center.
The other positives mentioned by those who took part in the meetings was that the area had an effective Sheriff’s Office and good emergency services, and had a nice offering of libraries, senior citizen activities and youth sports programs.
The main weaknesses in the parish were considered to be the transportation network and the lack of a complete levee system on the West Bank.
Residents also said that the parish lacks a complete, connected road network and has substandard, narrow and unsafe roads with open ditches. It was also noted that the parish is not a friendly one to bike riders or pedestrians and that railroads negatively impact communities.
As for the storm vulnerability concerns, residents cited the lack of a West Bank levee system, flooding problems, poor maintenance of drainage ditches and that the parish has a weak emergency warning system for tornadoes.
Along with the transportation and storm concerns, residents also complained about the lack of a multi-purpose civic center, poor or limited water access and having to drive to Metairie, Kenner or Houma to shop. Another big concern was that the parish does not offer big-time entertainment such as a bowling alley or movie theater.
Other weaknesses included environmental concerns such as pollution and coastal erosion, government shortcomings, perceived East Bank-West Bank divisions and racial, social and cultural divisions.
“I did expect the main themes that arose,” Marousek said. “For example, I expected that the main strength of the community would be centered around the special and unique character of St. Charles Parish. Along that same vein, I expected to see that most residents would not want to become like Jefferson Parish/Kenner.”
Now that the Parish Council and the Steering Committee have the 20-year vision, the parish’s consultant team will be analyzing the existing conditions and the existing trend. The next step will be for the consultants to identify the current course and to determine what policy, ordinance and priority changes need to occur in order for the parish to attain the expressed vision.
The next series of public meetings will occur in early 2010 and they will center around the discussion of changes that will need to occur for St. Charles Parish to be on track to meet the community visioning goals, Marousek said.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
Luling’s Rathborne Park remains closed until Saturday, Sept. 13 while St. Charles...
Destrehan resident Bruce Bourgeois Jr., who is accused of stabbing his live-in...
In only his second game as a starter, Destrehan sophomore quarterback Marquise...
After nearly 90 years in business, during which time only one family has owned and...
St. Charles Parish Public Schools is facing continued struggles in getting...
After only one season, Boutte-resident Kip Benoit’s reality TV series about hunting...
New York Life gives you the path to financial security of life time protection and value of life insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other financial planning. Let us help you achieve the financial goal of lifetime income!
Wildcats must corral speedy West Jeff to set tone for season - 513 views
Though Destrehan was able to knock off Lutcher 21-13 in the Ed Reed River Parishes Jamboree on Friday, Wildcat head coach Stephen Robicheaux felt like his team took a step back due to a plethora of penalties committed during the game– two of which negated scores.