Leslie Turk

Judge deciding if Scott subdivision goes forward

by Nathan Stubbs

He's a respected developer who followed all the rules, but the Lafayette City-Parish Council refused to allow Steve Montgomery to move forward with his subdivision, The Cottages, so Montgomery is asking the courts to decide.

The Advocate reported today that a judge will decide Dec. 18 whether Montgomery gets to build his 73-home subdivision on 14 acres near Scott, where there is no zoning. The council refused to overturn a rejection of preliminary plat approval by the Planning Commission, even though the commission dodged its responsibility in allowing the decision to die a procedural death for lack of a second.

According to The Advocate story, Montgomery's attorney, Steve Oats, argues in the lawsuit that state law requires the commission to make a formal no vote and give reasons for the denial. State law also says that if the commission does not vote yes or no within 60 days of application, the plat is automatically approved.

Montgomery appears to have the law on his side, his case strongly highlighting the need for a parish-wide zoning ordinance. It's likely the judge's Dec. 18 decision will drive that message loud and clear.