May 25, 2010 05:14
LINCLOGO

Liaisons from the Lafayette City-Parish Council are being briefed Tuesday on land-use recommendations presented Monday evening to the Planning Commission from a Lafayette IN a Century citizen committee.

Liaisons from the Lafayette City-Parish Council are being briefed Tuesday on land-use recommendations presented Monday evening to the Planning Commission from a Lafayette IN a Century citizen committee. The 28-page document addresses issues both within Lafayette's urban core as well as the outlying unincorporated parish.

In its broadest strokes, the LINC committee recommends redevelopment within the city utilizing existing infrastructure and relying in part of resident input, as well as the widespread use of nodes - high-density, mixed-use developments at major corridors throughout the parish. The committee also recommends combining city and parish regulations regarding subdivisions. The "creation of one set of rules would streamline development decisions," the document reads.   

"It went really well with the Planning Commission last night," says committee member Sterling LeJeune. "We got some real positive feedback from them."

"The underlying basis for the Land Use Plan Framework and the Land Use Implementation Strategy is to target areas for specific actions based on planning principles," the document's introduction reads. "By prioritizing areas of the parish, good decisions regarding future development can be made. Moreover, if smart growth is to be encouraged in the city's core, current land use regulations need to be modified."

For unincorporated Lafayette Parish, the LINC committee recommends establishing buffer districts to "reduce conflict between existing land uses and new developments" similar to the land-use ordinance the city of Carencro adopted a couple of years ago.

The commission's goals for the city of Lafayette's urban core include focusing infrastructure investment and encouraging densities and mixed use with neighborhood participation. LINC identifies Lafayette's urban core as the areas commonly known as downtown, Le Centre, Freetown/Port Rico, McComb-Veazey and the Oil Center.

The committee also recommends the creation of seven urban-core zoning districts and the use of neighborhood coteries in helping to determine land use. "In this area, we see many signs of urban disinvestment and areas that require revitalization," the recommendation says. "In addition, the urban core area includes what may be considered the "close-in" suburbs to the original core but lack connectivity with that core. This area possesses most of the ingredients - infrastructure, proximity to downtown, a mix of residential/retail, sidewalks, transit, etc.- that are the basis for smart growth."

The planning commission will consider the recommendations for a couple of weeks. Following final adoption, the commission will forward the recommendations to City-Parish President Joey Durel and to members of the City-Parish Council, who will have 90 days to write ordinances for implementation, at which time an implementation committee will have 120 days to come up with a plan for implementing the recommendations as written into ordinance(s).

Created through the appointment of a steering committee 11 years ago, the LINC Comprehensive Master Plan was approved by the CPC in 2007. LCG is expected to release a request for proposals soon seeking a major planning firm to study Lafayette's growth and development patterns, as well as its goals - using LINC as a basis - and develop a master plan to help the parish manage it's growth in the coming decades. To view the LINC plan, click here.