Goodwood, Sherwood hit glitch
Two more neighborhoods — Sherwood Forest and Goodwood Homesites — are looking to create crime prevention districts.
But they ran into a glitch before the proposals can be considered in the legislative session that opens April 8.
Last fall, voters statewide approved a constitutional amendment that required legal notices to contain more-specific information about crime prevention district proposals for which legislation would be sought.
The initial legal notices published for the Sherwood Forest and Goodwood Homesites proposals didn’t fully comply with the provisions.
Now the notices are being redone to include the missing information with a deadline for publication fast approaching. The last of three required notices must be published at least 30 days prior to legislative introduction. That means the latest they could be published is March 15-17.
“We did have an incorrect notice. We think we have remedied the situation. As of today, they have been redone,” said House governmental affairs division chief Bryan Vincent. The revamped ads have been submitted for republication prior to the deadline, he said.
House Legislative Services Executive Director Mary Quaid said the detailed bills will be filed as late introductions April 17. The legislative session opens April 8.
The problem occurred with the change from the traditional notice. A template is used and it wasn’t updated with passage of the constitutional amendment.
The new requirements include three separate notices — instead of two — with the last day of publication 30 days prior to introduction of the legislation that contain the substance of the contemplated law.
The notice must also disclose whether the crime prevention district would have the authority to impose and collect a parcel fee; whether the parcel fee will be imposed or may be increased without an election; and the maximum amount of the parcel fee if a maximum is set forth in the contemplated law.
“The folks are entitled to know all that,” said state Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, sponsor of the constitutional amendment.
The Sherwood Forest and Goodwood Homesites notices alerted neighborhood residents of the possibility of a parcel fee. But the notices did not take it the further step and disclose whether the fee would be imposed or could be increased without an election.
Neither notice contains a maximum parcel fee which has been in crime district legislation previously approved for other East Baton Rouge Parish neighborhoods.
The Sherwood Forest legal notice ran Feb. 25, 26 and 27 and the Goodwood Homesites ran Feb. 22, 23 and 25.
State Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, said the Sherwood Forest homeowners association board has voted to seek the legislation, which he agreed to sponsor.
“They are looking to beef up security,” James said.
James said the proponents had been working with legislative staff on the legislation prior to the constitutional amendment going into effect. “They are going to redo it,” said James.
No one could be reached related to the potential Goodwood Homesites legislation.