CONVENT — The St. James Parish government scheduled informational meetings on its proposed comprehensive master plan before the Parish Council plans to formally approves the document later this spring.
Parish Assistant Director of Operations Blaise Gravois told the Parish Council on Wednesday he is holding six more informational meetings around the parish to familiarize residents with the plan and answer any questions they might have.
The proposed master plan seeks to direct the parish’s growth over the next two decades by encouraging economic development and improving infrastructure, reducing land use conflicts between residents and industry, promoting affordable housing and preserving historic sites, Gravois said.
The plan was finalized and released to the public in March 2011 by a 19-member St. James Parish Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee after months of public meetings and hearings on the subject.
Gravois told the Parish Council on Wednesday he held two “well-attended” meetings earlier this week in Vacherie and Convent.
Gravois encouraged residents to arrive on time but said the meetings would not last the full two hours listed in the schedule.
“Overall, it’s been very positive,” said Gravois.
Residents have asked him when the Parish Council might adopt an ordinance or resolution approving the master plan, Gravois said.
Councilman Jimmy Brazan said he would like to wait until Gravois concludes the remaining six meetings and then discuss any concerns residents have with Gravois.
Councilman Alvin St. Pierre said he hoped to have the master plan adopted and “wrapped up” within a couple of months, but said it depends on feedback from the public.
The Parish Council still plans to hold public hearings in Convent and Vacherie before voting on the plan but those dates have not yet been set, officials said Wednesday.
Informational meetings on the St. James Parish Comprehensive Master Plan will be held:
n Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Vacherie Courthouse Annex council chambers.
n Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Grand Point-Belmont Fire Station.
n Jan. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the St. James Welcome Senior Center.
n Jan. 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lutcher Senior Center.
n Jan. 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Convent Courthouse council chambers.
n Jan. 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Vacherie Courthouse Annex council chambers.
In other business before the Parish Council:
CHAIRMAN ELECTED: Council members unanimously elected Councilman Charles Ketchens as Parish Council chairman and St. Pierre as Parish Council vice chairman.