Memo to the AG Landry: Answer request on Planning Commission authority already

Attorney General Jeff Landry

On October 19, 2018 Ascension Parish, in a letter drafted by Legal Adviser O’Neal Parenton, requested an opinion from Louisiana’s Attorney General.  Two questions were asked:

  1. Can Ascension Parish Council through a Charter Amendment make the Planning Commission advisory only for consideration of Major and Minor Subdivision approvales?
  2. Would a vote to  override the decision of the Planning Commission require a two-third’s (sic) vote as provided by La. R. S. 33:109?

Neither question is all that complicated.

As to the first…

Livingston Parish Council approves/denies subdivisions (but Parenton says Ascension CANNOT)

Regarding the second…La. R.S. 33:109 includes the verbiage:

“In case of disapproval, the commission shall communicate its reasons to the local legislative body which shall have the power to overrule such disapproval by a recorded vote of not less than two-thirds of its entire membership.”

Three-and-a-half months having elapsed since submission of the request, and nothing from the Attorney General (not even a response to an email we sent):

Our review of opinions released by the Attorney General did not reveal one in response to the subject request referenced above.  Having obtained a copy of that request penned by 23rd JDC Assistant District Attorney O’Neal Parenton we are compelled to point out a glaring deficiency in the request.
Mr. Parenton, on behalf of Ascension’s Parish Council, authored two questions, the first of which is:
1) Can Ascension Parish through a Charter Amendment make the Planning Commission advisory only for consideration of Major and Minor Subdivision approvals?
Mr. Parenton, in an instance of intentional subterfuge or rank  incompetence, failed to cite what we believe to be the Revised Statute dispositive of the issue; La. R. S. 33:103(F) which reads:

“Where a parish or municipality has adopted a charter for local self-government or other home rule charter and such charter provides for the establishment of a planning commission… In such case, any parish or municipality with a home rule charter may avail itself of the power and authority granted herein to a planning commission; however, nothing herein shall diminish any power or authority already granted by a home rule charter or other law.”

The Parenton-penned request did include citation of five other Revised Statutes, we believe, in the attempt to delude your office into an inaccurate opinion.  We would hope that La. R.S. 33:103(F) is considered as the Attorney General prepares the responsive opinion as we deem its provisions crystal clear and controlling the issue at hand.
When can we expect the responsive opinion to be issued?
About what we’ve come to expect from AG Jeff Landry’s office.