Ascension Parish residents:
Having watched the January 13, 2021 meeting of the Planning Commission, I feel it is necessary to address the concerns voiced by so many of you, all of which I share as Parish President and a fellow citizen of Ascension Parish. Three subdivision plats, two residential and one commercial, were approved Wednesday evening during a videoconference meeting necessitated by the governor’s most recent COVID-19 pronouncement. Unfortunately, the Parish’s Development Code lacks appropriate ordinances that would have enabled the commission to reject one or all of those subdivisions.
Planning Commissioners are placed in a difficult position, forced to consider preliminary plats on property unsuitable for major subdivision development. Our volunteer commission must balance the rights of landowners against those of neighboring residents, a thankless job if ever there was one. Unresolved drainage concerns, under-sized roadways and inefficient means to treat sewage all compromise our ability to develop responsibly when current subdivision regulations dictate approval in many cases.
I pledge to you, the residents of Ascension Parish, that my administration will do everything in its power to change the Development Code and tighten restrictions on development. Those changes will be seeking to retain Ascension’s rural character, while ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place before new development is approved.
Clint Cointment, Ascension Parish President
NOTE: Unfortunately, the Parish President lacks authority to make those changes to Ascension’s Development Code. Only the governing authority, i.e. the Parish Council can enact legislation and we see no impetus among a six-member majority to do so.