New subdivision standards considered for Lake Charles

By By Eric Cormier / American Press

Walnut Grove on Sallier Street and

Morganfield in east Lake Charles are two multi-use developments that

will stress the attributes

of traditional neighborhoods, according to officials at City Hall.

Both developments will stress living areas where people can easily walk and bike, along with enjoying open spaces among homes

and businesses.

Because the American urban planning

model champions these types of communities, City Hall is making attempts

to pass an ordinance

that outlines what traditional neighborhood developments should

look like.

The city’s planning office has put together a proposal that the City Council will vote on in the coming weeks.

City spokesman Russ Adams made a presentation detailing the proposal during Tuesday’s agenda meeting.

“This is a throwback in a way communities developed before auto usage became so widespread,” Adams said.

He said baby boomers and young adults want these types of neighborhoods, of which River Ranch in Lafayette is considered one

of south Louisiana’s best success stories.

“I think this is a good trend for developers to pursue,” Adams said. “And it streamlines the permitting process.”

The thought among city planners is that a developer can choose to construct a traditional neighborhood development using the

city’s general plans, and that would keep investors from having to obtain so many different zoning variances.

“Yes, this is just another tool in a developer’s tool box which allows them to avoid variances,” City Council President Mark

Eckard said.

Councilman Stuart Weatherford said the development plans from River Ranch and communities in Baton Rouge served as a template

for the work done by City Hall workers.

“We had a real good starting point,” he said.

Mayor Randy Roach said the chance to set voluntary building standards is a different approach for the municipal government

to take.

“This creates a new style of subdivision,” he said. “It has worked well in other communities. A lot of work was done on this

ordinance.”