‘Scott 2032’ serves as guide for city improvements, amenities
SCOTT — A proposed long-term plan for the city envisions tree-lined streets that are friendly to bikes and pedestrians, ample parks, a vibrant cultural district and the development of the city as a prominent gateway to the Acadiana region.
Scott officials are in the final stages of developing “Scott 2032,” a plan that is part wish list and part guidebook for the future of the growing city in Lafayette Parish.
“We are not going to do a plan and put it on the shelf. The plan is going to guide the community,” said Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison.
The city this month unveiled a draft version of the plan, which grew out a series of community forums last year.
The recommendations are wide-ranging, from specific strategies for improving drainage and making the city more walkable to preserving trees and developing incentives for new businesses to locate in the city’s center rather than on the periphery.
One goal is to draw in more tourists by capitalizing on Scott’s location along Interstate 10.
“This will be the gateway of choice for people coming into Lafayette from the west,” said architect and town planner Steve Oubre, who designed Lafayette’s River Ranch community and is working with Scott to develop its plan.
Oubre sees the new gateway as Apollo Road, which Scott plans to extend in the next few years.
The two-mile extension will open large tracts of vacant land for development and provide another connection through Scott into Lafayette.
Morrison said the road will take shape under the guidelines in the Scott 2032 plan, which calls for a boulevard with sidewalks and landscaping.
He said the hope is that an attractive, high-traffic thoroughfare will encourage quality commercial development in the area.
The Scott 2032 plan also offers strategies to make peace with the floodways in and around the city.
Floodways are areas where development is severely limited because of the flooding risk, as compared with flood zones, where development is allowed as long as structures are built to a certain elevation.
The plan recommends using portions of the floodways for large detention ponds to reduce flooding in other areas and for recreation — large open green spaces, trails, parks, sports facilities.
“Just because it floods doesn’t mean you can’t put a soccer field there,” Morrison said.
A central theme of the Scott 2032 plan is preserving the character of the town while encouraging quality new developments.
As one means to that end, Oubre is drafting a so-called “smart code,” which will divide the city into districts and lay out specific guidelines for development in each district.
For example, when a new business is planned in the historic district at the city’s core, the code might define landscaping and lighting requirements, how it should be accessed from the street and what building materials should be used, with a preference for wood siding over vinyl, Oubre said.
“It’s pretty comprehensive,” he said.
Still undecided is whether the city will move forward with a strict set of mandatory development guidelines, said Scott Councilman-at-Large Jan-Scott Richard.
That decision will likely be made as the council begins deciding this fall on how to implement the recommendations in the Scott 2032 plan.
“We haven’t set anything in stone,” Richard said.
Still, Richard believes that the recommendations in the plan will bring about real change in the city because they are based on what residents said they want.
“It’s our plan as a community,” he said.