Police Jury denies request for duplex rezoning

Calcasieu Parish police jurors on Thursday denied a request to rezone property in south Lake Charles, preventing a duplex from being built in the neighborhood.

The panel voted 11-3 to deny a request by James Wiggins, et al., to rezone property at 4509 Ogdon Road from single-family residential to mixed residential. The decision overturned a 9-1 vote by the parish Planning and Zoning Board on Tuesday that recommended the request be granted. 

District 8 Police Juror Guy Brame, who represents the area where the request was made, said a duplex would not fit in with the neighborhood.

“It’s a nice, quiet street,” he said. “Residents live a quiet life, (and) I just want to honor that for them. They don’t want it here, and that’s who I represent.”

District 7 Police Juror Chris Landry agreed, saying similar development has been approved in neighborhoods where it didn’t belong. Landry criticized the city of Lake Charles for approving “one apartment complex after another” without considering the impact on residents in older neighborhoods.

Staff with the parish planning department recommended the rezoning request be denied.

A representative for Wiggins said he planned to sell the property to Justin Granger, who would live in one unit of the duplex.

Judy Bradley has lived in a home across the street from the property since the late 1980s. She said the property had renters in the past, and it was “not a good experience.” She said she supported the property being sold, but she opposed “multiple dwellings.”

“Our way of life is important to us,” Bradley said.

Voting to deny the request were Brian Abshire, Francis Andrepont, Brame, Calvin Collins, Les Farnum, Tony Guillory, Landry, Shalon Latour, Shelly Mayo, Hal McMillin and Dennis Scott.

Police jurors Kevin Guidry, Sandra Treme and Kevin White opposed overturning the planning board’s vote.

Later in the meeting, the Police Jury approved a request to rezone 2.27 acres of property at 2142 La. 109 South in the Toomey area from agricultural to recreational-vehicle park to allow for six RV spaces.

The decision overturned a 4-6 vote by the planning board on Tuesday that recommended the request by Harold Temple Jr. be denied.

Two stipulations were added to the rezoning. One excludes mobile homes from the RV park, while the other requires a fence or other buffer at the direction of the parish planning director.

Police jurors approved a request by Mary Augustus to rezone 0.75 acres of property in the 200 block of West Hebert Road in south Lake Charles from agricultural to multi-family residential. The rezoning allows for four duplexes.

The planning board voted 7-3 on Tuesday to recommend the request be granted.

The panel agreed to defer action for 30 days on a request by J&A Investments of Southwest Louisiana to rezone 3 acres of property at 6143 Mark LeBleu Road from agricultural to multi-family residential. The request calls for putting seven duplexes on the property.

The decision upheld a 6-4 vote by the planning board on Tuesday to defer action.

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