On Sept. 5 the parish council was faced with a proposal by the parish president’s administration that, if passed, would make it easier for residents to operate businesses from their home by cutting through some of the red tape and allowing the parish’s planning and zoning department director to determine approval on applications.
While the proposal would make for a smooth application process, council member April Black suggested that amendments to the ordinance be made before votes are cast.
Black proposed changes that would remove the planning commission from the approval process and allow the council to make the final decision.
According to Black, the council members are the ones who receive phone calls from residents who have complaints about home occupations in their neighborhoods and therefore should play the leading role in approving applicants.
Currently, residents who wish to have a home-based business must have a hearing before the council and the planning and zoning department before approval is given, and that process can take up to ten weeks to complete.
However, residents such as Carolyn Tregre of Luling, oppose the uprise of home-based businesses and stated that she has experienced neighbors parking work trucks in the roadway and emptying engine oil into street drains.
Tregre told the council members, “We had somebody who left a tractor trailer in their driveway for two years. It never moved.”
The planning and zoning department claims that residents have always had the opportunity to voice their concerns about home-run businesses.
The council is set to vote on the amended ordinance on Sept. 18.