District 4 Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux, in a Facebook post late Monday, urged voters to attend Tuesday’s City-Parish Council meeting as a show of support for his bid to amend the Unified Development Code adopted this year in an effort to prevent apartment complexes from being constructed within the Louisiana Avenue Zoning and Development Overlay District. That’s the area around the Louisiana Avenue-Interstate 10 corridor where a Target/Academy Sports-anchored shopping center is located and where future commercial development is slated.
Writing that Lafayette is facing an “attack that will cause havoc for years to come,” Boudreaux characterizes Tuesday’s meeting as “A TEST” [all caps his] and suggests that if “we fail this test Lafayette will forever be a parish of the haves and the have nots. North Lafayette will never see upscale quality retail businesses and jobs. I am in need of you coming to the meeting and standing up for our community...”
The overlay district was established in 2005 by a previous council, but the zoning regulations in the district were altered when the UDC was adopted earlier this year, opening the door for multi-family housing in the area. Boudreaux, according to follow-up comments tied to last night’s post, believes it sets a bad precedent for north Lafayette by allowing the proliferation of cheap, low-income housing, which he argues makes the area less attractive for high-end retail outlets:
As most desire to enhance things in the area, we are faced with a dilemma. I have found that the major factor in securing better jobs, better retail options and higher level of businesses has been our housing market. Every single proposed development for North Lafayette has been done through low income tax credits. No market rate housing. Although it serves one purpose it also creates a issue. ...If we continue to expand the low income housing footprint North into Carencro we will never achieve the business market we desire.
The ordinance, No. 214, is up for final adoption tonight. It was unanimously passed — 6-0, with three councilmen absent for the vote — as an introductory ordinance two weeks ago with bipartisan support.
The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council auditorium at City Hall.