St. Charles Parish Council Chairman Terrell Wilson is busy trying to keep pace with Hahnville’s growth, particularly with a second subdivision recently proposed for the area.
A 110-lot subdivision project initially planned by former New Orleans Saints football player Willie Whitehead Jr., is back on track nine years later with a new owner and new name – River Road Estates.
Initially proposed as Brookshire Subdivision in 2007-08, the project was his development until the contractor walked off the job for nonpayment of services. Parish officials discussed filing suit against Whitehead when the project stalled. He said he lined up new investors, including another former Saints player, but the property ended up at a sheriff’s auction and sold to River Road Estates LLC of Metairie.
Wilson described the site as being near an apartment complex formerly known as River Park Apartments.
It’s the second residential development proposed for the area recently along with Cypress View Subdivision.
“I want to be able to tell them what kind of a neighbor they’re going to be,” Wilson said of introducing both developers to the community, as well as their planned residential communities. “The pressure is that residents are questioning whether the parish has adequate infrastructure to support these developments.”
Adequate drainage is the central concern, he said. Residents are worried about flooding.
Wilson scheduled a June 8 town meeting for the Cypress View Subdivision that could encompass as many as 200 lots. The meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. at the Hahnville Fire Station.
Cypress View developer, Guidry Land Development in Lafayette, will discuss the project for the Fashion Golf Club site, 223 Joe Louis Lane.
Wilson also plans on scheduling a town meeting for the River Road Estates project, again mainly to address residents’ concerns about the impact of adding up to 110 residences.
“We’re bursting at the seams,” he said of area expansion.
Wilson welcomes the growth, but questions whether the parish has the means to take full advantage of the growth, as well as facilitate residents’ concerns about drainage issues.
“We can’t handle the waste or rainwater,” he said of the parish’s growing pains.
Without infrastructure upgrades, Wilson said developers’ projects may have be limited in size or have to pay for the upgrades themselves.
Parish President Larry Cochran also welcomes growth, but maintained the parish has the resources to support it.
“I am confident in our ability to handle this type of growth, and my administration welcomes it,” Cochran said. “My administration has been heavily investing in infrastructure improvements, so I don’t have any concerns that we can support growth within St. Charles Parish.”
Cochran outlined improvements, including wastewater infrastructure on the east bank and the Destrehan plant operating at 25 percent average capacity; the Killona force main project recently started will substantially help boost west bank infrastructure along with a new UV system that will be installed soon.
“With the $8 million low interest loan from DEQ [state Department of Environmental Quality], this will allow us to further improve the aging infrastructure when it comes to wastewater,” he said.
Cochran maintained on providing water services that the river crossings provide redundancy, as well as excess capacity to easily handle all of the proposed subdivisions.
“Whenever a new subdivision is proposed, the developer has to have a drainage impact analysis stamped by a professional engineer before it can be approved,” he said. “They also have to adhere to the latest MS4 environmental regulations, which involve storm water runoff.”