Zoning seems to be the regulation du jour in Acadiana. Carencro sailed through the vote to adopt a land use ordinance at the beginning of the year, while Breaux Bridge is still in the throes of figuring out how best to control development. Now Broussard is putting zoning on the table, looking at an ordinance to regulate what gets built along the new Ambassador Caffery corridor. “We don’t want to have a big box store with a pipe yard next to it,” Broussard City Councilman Keith Rousseau told The Advocate.
Crafting a zoning ordinance that pleases all the property owners in an area is a tricky matter. Land owners hate to be told what they can do with their property, that is until a neighbor gets ready to open, say, a junk yard next door. Then even the most recalcitrant laisse faire Louisianian goes running to his city councilman to find some way to protect his property values.
A land use ordinance works differently than traditional zoning. A zoning ordinance categorizes neighborhoods as residential, commercial or industrial, and then lists what sort of activities are permitted in each zone. Land use creates buffer zones to divide neighbors with widely divergent uses. The more noxious the use, the bigger the buffer, which can in effect make it impossible to build some businesses in locations with small lots.
Broussard is opting for the more traditional zoning approach as the city council eyes the approaching four lane road, and the commercial development that will follow.