St. Charles Parish's exceptional growth in size and industry have dominated the parish council agenda. This past Monday things were no different.
To meet the challenges of growth, several issues stood out during the evening: housing for the burgeoning population and traffic.
For the second council meeting in a row, a move to change a zoning ordinance along Highway 90 was approved. This is the second ordinance change that Sara Sims, Paradis, has sought in order to create a 5 home subdivision along the route in the Sunset Drainage District. Last week, Sims received support from most of the audience and the council on the intended change.
One objection this time came from Brandt Dufrene, who owns adjacent property. Dufrene cited the finding of Indian artifacts as one motivation to suspend the subdivision, Dufrene subsequently endorsed a plan to open a tourist attraction for the finds.
However, the councilmen Derryl Walls, who supports the subdivision, reminded his fellow council members that were not voting on the destruction of Indian artifacts or graves but whether Sims should be allowed a second zoning change.
Walls stated that if Indian artifacts were to be found, the state could suspend any building at the site, and Sims pointed out to the council that she has taken all precautions to preserve any sacred artifacts. The motion passed unanimously.
While only five homes were at issue, the subdivision is a microcosm of the struggle for what the future of St. Charles Parish will look like, as different residents fight to have their vision implemented. "We must have a master plan," Councilman said Ganesier "Ram" Ramchandran.
As the parish grows, so too does its traffic. In order to deal with the ever-growing problem, Ramchandran proposed an ordinance requiring traffic impact analysis. The councilman’s district encompasses Ormond, which is a traffic nightmare to many residents.
"It is high time we put these developers on notice that you shall conduct a traffic analysis study," said Ramchandran.
Danny Hebert, Luling, approached the council asking them to strike down the measure, adding that Ramchandran's ordinance would do little to alleviate the traffic woes. Hebert also said that it will negatively affect development in the parish.
Ranchandran said that he was not against development, but that it must be done properly.
The measure failed 6-3, with Councilmen Ramchandran, Dickie Duhe and Clayton "Snookie Faucheux voting in favor of the ordinance.
Further signs of the parish increasing in population were two housing developments. First, an ordinance was passed for an act of dedication on Highland Oaks Phase I in St. Rose, an approximately 58 home subdivision. Also on the agenda, no objection was offered to an 82 home subdivision in Luling. Phase II of Hidden Oaks.
In other council news, The St. Charles Herald-Guide was named once more the official journal for the parish council, as a resolution was unanimously passed.