Rezoning request for mobile home park near Iowa rejected

Published 2:39 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

Jeff Davis Parish police jurors on Wednesday rejected a request to rezone property on Gro Racca Road near Iowa for a mobile home park, a development residents in the area opposed.

The Police Jury unanimously denied a request from Country View REI, LLC to rezone 60 acres located just west of U.S. 165 from agriculture to commercial.

Developer Nicholas Toti told the board that the development is an opportunity for the parish to have a mobile home park that is different from the others.

Email newsletter signup

“We’re looking at providing a mobile home park with double or triple the normal lot sizes with restrictions on materials, usage, out buildings and years of mobile homes put in there,” Toti said.

There are four other mobile home parks located within a half-mile radius of the proposed Country View site, he said.

Police Juror Byron Buller made a motion to reject the rezoning request due to flood problems.

During a public hearing, several residents voiced concerns about flood problems and presented police jurors with photos of the flooding. Residents also voiced concerns for the poor road conditions, increased traffic, insufficient infrastructure and lower property values.

Duane Chestnutt, who lives across the street from the proposed mobile home park, said the area has always been a rural, agriculture community.

“You are being asked to change the complexion of the community…it’s  agriculture.we have cattle, horses, hay, rice and crawfish,” he said, noting that the infrastructure is not suited for a high density residential area.

He said Gro Racca is a sub-standard gravel road with potholes and several wrecks, including one fatality, have occurred as a result of the road condition and speeders.

Chestnutt, along with other residents, said problems with lack of drainage and flooding in the area will only get worse with more homes, people and traffic. Resident Ivan Fruge said the area averages about four floods a year.

Others voiced concerns for electrical problems with increased demand, lower water pressure, lower property values and lack of deputies patrolling the area.

Laramie Chestnutt, who lives directly across from the property, is concerned about what the rezoning could mean for the future.

“If you change it to commercial, what is to come in the future,” he asked. “This fellow that is going to rezone it may just have a few mobile homes, but it opens the door to the future to where in a few years from now he could sell it and someone else could put 50 or 60 mobile homes out there.”

“…You will be changing the whole dynamic of the area,” Chestnutt continued. “Right now we are country, agriculture, but it could turn into a large mobile home park and other businesses.”

Resident James Willard said the area is family-oriented and voiced concerns for speeders, drugs, loose dogs and other problems a mobile home park could bring.

“Please think about my grandkids that will have to change their lives from speeders, drug dealers, dogs and whatever that trailer park brings,” Willard said.

Robert Dubois, a nearby resident on Willie Road, asked the police jurors to consider the residents who enjoy the quiet, peaceful living.

“It’s nice and quiet out there, with this trailer park it’s not going to be quiet anymore,” he said. “…We’d like you to consider our neighborhood. We all know everybody out there and we enjoy the quiet, peaceful living.”