The St. Charles Parish Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss Construction Approval for Heather Oaks Phase 1, which includes 90 lots of a 171-lot subdivision off E. Heather Drive in Luling, at its Sept. 3 meeting.
The request is being made by Heather Oaks, LLC.
In April 2019 Luling area residents packed a commission meeting in opposition of the proposed subdivision and cited many concerns that included a retention pond, traffic flow, school capacity and drainage.
Commissioners unanimously approved the preliminary plat for the project. Any project that has already received preliminary plat approval is exempt from Parish President Matthew Jewell’s recently approved temporary moratorium on new construction.
At the time of plat approval, St. Charles Parish Planning Director Michael Albert said residents would again be able to comment on the project at the construction phase and again on the final plat.
Lafayette developer Cliff Guidry had reconfigured the project to address residents’ concerns raised in September 2018 – when he initially proposed the 52-acre development that was rejected by the commission.
The Heather Oaks development neighbors Lakewood and Willowdale communities.
“The construction approval is technical/engineering based,” Albert said in an interview this week. “The various parish departments review and recommend approval of their respective elements. Disapproval would be based upon discussion at the meeting and may require the project to be redesigned entirely. The answer depends entirely on why a development would be denied, however, if a project were going to be turned down by the commission, it’s more likely to happen at the preliminary plat phase rather than construction.”
Albert said Heather Oaks’ initial application was denied and was redesigned and resubmitted with the current layout, which was approved at the preliminary review level.
“In short, because of how this phase is reviewed, it’s more likely that the commission would request changes in design specs or engineering calculations than outright deny it,” he said, adding that after the commission takes action the developer has a series of pre-construction meetings with Public Works.
Any site work, including streets and pipes, usually start 30 – 60 days after approval, Albert said, and homes cannot be constructed until the St. Charles Parish Council accepts the infrastructure improvements.