Walter Pierce

CPC denies appeal, paves way for subdivision

by Walter Pierce

The Lafayette City-Parish Council Tuesday night denied an appeal by residents in west Lafayette Parish, clearing the way for a subdivision development. Residents living near the unincorporated area close to Scott had appealed to block development of Woodgate Subdivision, a planned 64-home neighborhood on about 15 acres of what is currently open field off Tabb Road.

More than a dozen neighbors attended the CPC meeting to oppose the development and urge council members to grant the appeal. In more than two hours of addressing the council they cited concerns about inadequate infrastructure, increased traffic and flooding in the low-lying area. Their pitch to the council was led by a Power Point presentation by Dr. Darrin Menard, an area resident and family physician, who showed the council photographs of existing drainage problems that he argued would be compounded by the high-density development.

Woodgate’s developer, Steve Montgomery, addressed the council briefly, telling the panel, “We take a lot of pride in what we do, we also understand there’s a lot of responsibility in what we do.” But area resident Suzi Ridge closed her 5-minute comment time with a plea: “I’m begging you guys, step up to the plate, stop all of this, it’s spiraling out of control.”

The council voted 5-4 to deny the appeal. Council members Purvis Morrison (District 1) and Jared Bellard (District 5), who represent the more than 150 residents who had signed a petition seeking to block Woodgate, voted in favor of the appeal. Bellard and Morrison also attended an Oct. 12 Planning, Zoning and Codes meeting to oppose the plan.

The vote clears the way for the developer to begin engineering studies on the area, which will need to be reviewed by PZC. The Planning department has imposed 16 conditions on Montgomery, six of which address drainage issues, before he can proceed with construction.

In other council business, the CPC voted to rezone more than 56 acres to traditional neighborhood development status, clearing the way for what will eventually be a River Ranch-type mixed-use development called Cafferytown on Ambassador Caffery Parkway between Dulles Drive and Guilbeau Road.