By Timothy Boone
Advocate business writer
September 26, 2012
The city-parish Planning Commission on Monday deferred a plan to redevelop the former Fairwood Country Club property in southeast Baton Rouge to allow developers to meet with nearby residents concerned about the project.
Developer Windy Gladney’s plans for the The Greens at Millerville call for 320 apartments and 393,000 square feet of retail and office space to be built on roughly 54 acres along Interstate 12 and Millerville Road.
The project was approved by the commission and the Metro Council six years ago, but the development never got under way because of the national economic crisis.
Lynell Whipple, president of the Fairwood Estates Garden District Homeowners Association and one of six people to speak in opposition to the project, said the new plans contained some things that nearby households asked not to be included, such as a car dealership and three-story apartment buildings.
“Those are some things we would like to discuss,” Whipple said. “We think we can reach some agreement on what would be appropriate.”
Nearby homeowners are concerned about the lights and noise from a car dealership and that residents in three-story apartment buildings would be able to look into their backyards.
Carroll Perioux, who lives on South Fairview Avenue, said developers were “doubling down” by asking for twice the number of apartment units than there were in the 2006 plans.
“To quote Ronald Reagan, ‘Here we go again,’ ” he said.
Ron Ferris of Ferris Engineering, who is working with Gladney on the project, said the car dealership and additional apartments were added to The Greens at Millerville in response to current economic conditions.
“There’s a demand for car dealerships to locate in that area,” he said.
Ferris noted that the proposed dealership would be along Interstate 12 so there would be apartment buildings and green space acting as a “huge buffer” between nearby neighborhoods.
The proposed car dealership near The Greens at Millerville development would be the second one in the area. Team Toyota is located near O’Neal Lane and I-12. There are apartments, retail space and a hotel nearby.
Ferris and Gladney said they were not able to meet with nearby residents before submitting their rezoning request to the commission.
“This is a concept plan for zoning only,” Ferris said. “This will guide the development plan, which will have a far more detailed design.”
Gladney said he looked forward to talking to nearby residents.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission’s next meeting is set for Oct. 15.