Livingston council adopts ‘corridor’ master plan

The Livingston Parish Council unanimously approved a master plan Thursday night.

Immediately after adoption, a proposed resolution to modify the plan failed on a tie vote.

The 112-page plan calls for zoning along a corridor that includes Interstate 12 and U.S. 190, which the plan identifies as the optimum location for economic growth in the parish.

Lack of predictability about adjacent land use discourages good businesses that would provide needed jobs and sales tax revenue, according to the plan created by Winston Associates, of Boulder, Colo., after numerous public meetings across the parish.

The plan doesn’t push zoning for rural areas where the concept has previously met resistance. Instead, it suggests allowing people in each ward to decide for themselves what they would like to do about zoning.

After the plan’s adoption, Councilman Ronnie Sharp proposed a resolution that specifies that an election would be held on local zoning plans.

Sharp was joined by Sonya Collins, Delos Blackwell and Jim Norred in voting for the proposed change to the plan.

The proposed change died when Marshall Harris, Cindy Wale, Chance Parent and Joan Landry voted against it, and Ricky Goff abstained, saying he had not had a chance to study the proposed change.

The plan suggests that a full-time planner be hired to help in land-use determinations.

The plan also makes suggestions for lessening future traffic congestion.

An interconnected system of major roads is important to the development of a parish with a population that is expected to double in 30 years, the plan states.

It suggests adopting a major street plan to ensure that a future grid of roads won’t be blocked by development.

“There is some urgency to making this decision” so rights of way can be preserved, the plan states.

Developers should either build collector roads for motorists to reach main highways or provide road impact fees, the plan states.

It suggests that expanding water systems and providing sewer systems will be important to continued development.

Preparation of the plan was funded through a $450,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Long-term Recovery Program.