Despite a resident’s appeal to help protect property she says has been in her family more than 150 years, the St. Charles Parish Council rejected her rezoning request.
Council members voted unanimously against rezoning a 21.7-acre tract at 13840 Old Spanish Trail in Boutte from M-1 (light manufacturing and heavy equipment) to C-3 (commercial and residential use) at Tuesday’s council meeting. They upheld the M-1 classification.
Council Chair Dick Gibbs said he met with the new property owner, Mike Nabut of Boutte, and felt comfortable with what he intends to do with the property.
Neither Gibbs nor Nabut specified intended use for the land.
Greg and Phoebe Cellos, who own property adjoining the site, asked the council to reclassify it from M-1 to C-3, which they maintained was more consistent with their mostly residential neighborhood.
Phoebe Cellos appealed to the council for the move, saying they were trying protect the land and preserve the community.
Calling it spot zoning, Phoebe’s husband, Greg, said the current classification is a costly mistake that affects quality of life and reduced the value of their property. He said the problems lied with the previous landowner, who lost the property in a Sheriff’s sale, but the zoning status continued to pose concerns about future use.
Phoebe maintained the property never qualified for M-1, but the classification was approved anyway.
After the meeting, she added, “C-3 is all around us and we’re C-3, but the point is everything around here is C-3.” Greg added, “We have nothing against Mr. Nabut or commercial development under the C-3 guidelines.”
Nabut said he has no plans yet for the property, but he did say there was considerable debris and abandoned trailers on the site from the previous owner that he is removing. He also said he intended to meet with the neighbors to discuss land use.
On the M-1 classification, he said he didn’t want it changed until he determined what the former owner did, and what he hopes to do with the property, as well as “what new business we can bring to the parish.”