Officials consider growth
By RICHARD BURGESS
February 22, 2013
SCOTT — Scott officials are expected to begin developing regulations this year to implement a long-term plan for growth and development that emerged from a series of community forums in 2011.
The Scott 2032 plan addresses everything from landscaping, green space and street design to preserving the city’s historic character and identifying the best locations for future commercial and residential developments.
The Scott Planning Commission adopted the Scott 2032 plan last month, but the Scott City Council would need to decide what codes and laws are needed to implement the recommendations.
“Right now, the plan is a vision and a guide we can follow,” said Pat Logan, a retired associate director of public works for city-parish government who has been hired by Scott to help implement the plan.
Logan said he anticipates the first wave of codes needed to implement the plan to be in place by mid-year, assuming approval by the council.
Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison said a critical component of the plan involves identifying which areas of the city should be open for residential, commercial and industrial development.
“Right now, we have nothing to stop anything from coming anywhere,” he said. “Some businesses don’t fit in certain areas.”
Still undecided is how strict those new development guidelines might be, but Morrison said he anticipates regulations that allow for adequate space between industrial and residential areas and possibly an outright ban on new mobile home parks.
“You might not see another trailer park in the city of Scott,” he said.
The plan also lays out how to decide routes for new roads and sets guidelines that in some cases call for boulevards with sidewalks and landscaping.
“It’s how we want certain streets to look in our community as we build them,” Morrison said.
Logan said there has been talk of requirements related to landscaping, lighting and architectural style for new businesses in some areas of the city, but some of those issues might not be addressed initially.
“That is farther down the road,” he said.
Logan said the Scott 2032 plan will also attempt to address how best to develop the floodways and flood zones in the city — areas that account for much of the undeveloped land in Scott.
Development is generally allowed in flood zones as long as buildings are elevated to a certain height, but floodways are considered higher-risk areas that bring much tougher restrictions.
Among the solutions offered in the Scott 2032 plan is to use some of the floodways for parks, trails and sports fields and for large retention ponds to help absorb floodwaters from other areas.
Morrison said the council has already acted on some of the recommendations in the Scott 2032 plan, including one for a new farmer’s market.
He said a tract has been purchased for the market in the heart of the city.
“We are working on a grant now to have the farmer’s market in by the end of this year or early next year,” Morrison said.
Morrison said the he believes Scott is the first city in the region to begin work on implementing a so-called comprehensive plan to address nearly all facets of growth and development in the coming decades.
Lafayette city-parish government is now working on a similar plan, but the specifics of that plan are still being discussed and there is no timeline for implementing it.