Monday night’s council meeting will feature a vote deciding whether to place a temporary moratorium on major subdivisions, as well as drainage and sewerage initiatives.
St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell introduced the moratorium during the June 15 council meeting, and the ordinances will be voted on during the July 6 meeting.
“Recent flooding has made it clear that it is time for St. Charles Parish to have a systematic master plan that allows new homes to be developed in a way that does not hinder the quality of life for current residents and homeowners,” Jewell said. “For far too long, we have simply added new developments and put additional burden on existing infrastructure without improving the conveyance canals and culverts that deliver water to our pump stations.”
The proposed moratorium would be in effect for 18 months, or until the parish-wide drainage and sewerage master plans are complete.
“Temporarily halting the addition of new subdivisions will allow Public Works to develop a plan that takes the needs of the entire parish into account while also planning for future growth,” Jewell said.
During the duration of the moratorium, Jewell said the Department of Public Works would continue to work on projects that are in progress or have been designated as essential projects for sewerage and drainage improvements.
“We need to do things differently and take a holistic approach to solve these problems if we want to get better results, and I am asking for the council’s support on these initiatives,” Jewell said.
Regina Allemand, a local realtor with Gardner Realtors, said addressing drainage concerns would benefit local homeowners’ bottom lines.
“Would you see an increase in values?” she said. “Yes … mainly to the current residents, but hindering new development projects may backfire.”
In her opinion, Alleman said it would be prudent for a systematic master plan to be in place.
“Having a plan for new developers to follow and work with them to develop proper infrastructure may be a benefit for all – the residents, the developer and the parish itself,” she said.
Desiree Luquette, a realtor with Latter & Blum, agreed.
“The drainage issues are a problem,” she said. “We use the flood zone information to make many decisions when purchasing or selling homes, and if a flood policy is too high, the buyers will have less purchasing power available to contribute to the cost of the home.”
The July 6 council meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. in the council chambers, located within the St. Charles Parish courthouse at 15045 River Road in Hahnville. The meeting can also be viewed on SCPTv on Cox channel 6, U-Verse channel 99 or at www.stcharlesparish-la.gov.