Lafayette council discusses garbage station in private

The City-Parish Council met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss the ongoing litigation over a planned garbage transfer station that the council voted to block in 2011.

The company that planned to develop the site had demanded nearly $7 million from Lafayette city-parish government before filing a lawsuit over the issue.

City-parish officials approved a tentative settlement with the developer last month, but city-parish officials have declined to discuss the details of the settlement or the purpose of continued closed-door meetings about the litigation.

The council voted unanimously in October 2011 to block the planned garbage transfer station on Sunbeam Lane in north Lafayette after residents and business owners in the area spoke out against the facility.

The developer of the site, Waste Facilities of Lafayette, had already purchased the property, obtained necessary permits and started construction when the council acted.

City-Parish Attorney Mike Hebert had cautioned council members before the 2011 vote that city-parish government could face damages extending into the “millions of dollars” for blocking a project midstream that had met all permitting requirements.

In other business Tuesday, the council delayed a vote on regulations for valet parking.

The regulations as proposed would have applied only to the downtown area, but several parish council members sought changes to expand the valet parking regulations citywide and possibly into the unincorporated areas of the parish.

City-Parish Director of Traffic and Transportation Tony Tramel said the proposed regulations are an attempt to control valet parking services that are already being offered, mainly by businesses in the downtown area that use the public right-of-way along the street.

“In some respects we are kind of playing catch-up here,” Tramel said. “… This is an attempt to try and control and regulate that, but in a very positive way.”

The proposed regulation would require that valet parking using the public right-of-way not impede traffic flow and not interfere with parking for nearby businesses.

The regulation would also require that businesses using valet parking have off-site parking and carry liability insurance of at least $1 million for any claims related to injuries or other damages in connection with valet parking services using the public right-of-way.

A vote on the proposed regulations was rescheduled for March 5.