No fill in flood zone until Floodplain Management Plan finalized? Not a chance

On tonight’s Parish Council agenda is Item 12:

Proposed Ordinance – to impose temporary restriction on the placement of fill for major and minor subdivisions in all unincorporated areas of the Ascension Parish not designated as Zone X by the most recent FEMA Flood Maps for Ascension Parish (Councilman Aaron Lawler)

The ordinance being proposed identifies “a need to adopt a flood plain management plan which is now in review and study…to allow time for the Governing Authority of Ascension Parish to consider all the aspects of a flood plain management plan…there is a need to temporarily limit the placement of fill for major and minor subdivisions…not designated as Zone X by the most recent FEMA Flood Maps for Ascension Parish.”

If enacted the ordinance would bar any preliminary plat from being “accepted for submission for approval of any major or minor subdivision which requires the placement of fill on the property (in) areas not designated as Zone X by the most recent FEMA Flood Maps for Ascension.”  The restriction would continue for six months or until the Parish Council adopts a Floodplain Management Plan, if sooner.

Unfortunately, the chance of passage is miniscule for the very same reason that Floodplain Management is being delayed.  A majority of the current council refuses to impose more stringent regulation of fill by the development community.  Don’t be fooled by the red herrings tossed out.

Most recently EA Drainage Chairman Dempsey Lambert claimed the delay was to await another study, this one called “LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio, Inland From the Coast.”  As part of its $3 million grant it is going to assist Ascension “in evaluating the use of fill as a means of achieving base flood elevation requirements. Analysis to include: engineering, legal and economic implications.”

Before Lambert chanced upon that deception it was…

Courthouse tail wagging Floodplain Management dog

a new courthouse holding up the plan; all while $400,000 was allocated to HNTB engineers for a product that was finalized eight months ago.

The LSU study is supposed to be done by May from what we hear.  We are left to wonder what the next excuse will be to delay floodplain management.

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