Marks new Lake Charles City Council president, August new VP

Published 10:14 am Saturday, July 6, 2024

The Lake Charles City Council elected a new president and vice-president at Wednesday’s meeting.

Councilmember Craig Marks, District F, was unanimously elected president. He was elected to the council in March 2021 and served as vice president from July 2023 to June 2024.

He took the time to thank his colleagues.

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“I appreciate all of you.”

Councilmember, District B, Luvertha August was elected vice president with four votes.

After serving on the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury from 1998 to 2004, she was appointed to the City Council in 2008 and officially elected in 2009. She served as vice president for the year 2012-13.

Councilmember Ronnie Harvey, Jr., District A, was also nominated for vice president.

Mayor Nic Hunter and Councilmember Rodney Geyen, District C, thanked Mark Eckard, District G, for his work as council president from 2023 to 2024.

“Mr. Eckard and I have been on a council for a number of years, and I just wanted to give my expressions to you right now as our former president, that I enjoyed working with you,” said Geyen. “I don’t know what level you’ll go to from here, but I’ll be in Hawaii if you’re looking for me.”

“It is really special to have the council president show up with the mayor, and it makes people feel appreciated, especially new businesses,” Hunter said.

Marks and August will hold their positions until July 2025.

Annexation, Rezoning, Variance

The council unanimously voted to expand city boundaries by annexing 2.2 acres at a property at 6706 Big Lake Rd. The property was zoned as residential and is located in District G.

The northwest section of North Enterprise Boulevard and Railroad Avenue was rezoned from neighborhood to business. The council unanimously upheld a request for rezoning recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The section includes two lots. Owner Omar Edwards said that the large brick building on the corner was once a business, and is now used as office space and Chicago-style lofts listed on Airbnb.

On the lot behind the brick building, a boutique dealership will be built. Edwards said this will mostly be for friends and family to purchase vehicles.

A lot “catty-cornered” from the property is also zoned business.

The ordinance was accompanied by a major conditional-use permit.

The council also unanimously approved a variance request to reduce the required landscaping for S&S Crawfish, 2604 Lake St.

The variance – which would eliminate some of the tree requirements – was denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission with a vote of four against it. According to the May 13 meeting minutes, owner Joe Stoma was originally required to plant two Class A trees, like a magnolia tree, at the front of the property.

Councilmember John Iyeoub, District D, said that he was in support of the variance so long as Stoma paid any associated fees or penalties.

After speaking with Stoma, Iyeoub determined that the trees would create hardship, as a tree on one side of the property would obstruct S&S Crawfish’s sign, and obstruct utilities on the other side. He said that most of the rest of the landscaping is already complete.