GONZALES — The Ascension Parish Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to appeal restrictions concerning two new subdivisions along La. 42 that originally were approved last month.
While The Shadows at Manchac — a 158-lot, 60-acre site — and the River Landing — a 69-lot, 29.2-acre development — were approved, restrictions recommended by parish staff included limits on the style of development in the 100-year floodplain and timing of construction.
Representing River Landing, Derrik Murphy, of Quality Engineering and Surveying, asked commissioners to remove a requirement to use no more than 18 inches of fill, instead of the planned 48 inches. The requirement would have required construction on piers up to 2.5 feet high in the flood zone.
“The development will require more than 18 inches of fill to make it sustainable,” Murphy said.
Commissioner Paul Mizzen said he found nothing in parish ordinances that recommends developers in the floodplain build on piers.
“At some point, I believe, we’ll get to the point where that will be a requirement,” Mizzen said. “Since we have nothing on the books at this time, I think we’d be putting an undue hardship on this developer until we decide if we’re going to make this an ordinance.”
Commissioner Gasper Civic, who last month voted against a similar project, said he agreed with the reasoning for the appeal.
“We need to address this issue as a commission, and the council needs to address it,” Civic said. “We need an ordinance that we can rely on to make these decisions, because right now it’s pretty arbitrary.”
The Planning Commission used the same criteria to appeal the decision for The Shadows at Manchac.
The commission also unanimously approved a final design plat for the first filing of the Bullion Crossing planned unit development along U.S. 61 near La. 42 in Prairieville.
Murphy, also representing Bullion Crossing, told commissioners the development’s first filing includes a main road that leads to a planned elementary school site, as well as another road and 65 of the planned 218 single-family residential lots.
The 84-acre project, originally approved by the Parish Council in 2007, offered buyers homes, town houses, a commercial area and parks.
A redesign eliminated the town houses and commercial area, but kept homes, parks and the new school site.