Cointment seeks to prevent Antebellum Pointe approval for a third time

Ascension President Clint Cointment

NOTE:  Twice before, President Clint Cointment has written open letters recommending DENIAL of Antebellum Pointe subdivision; prior to the Planning Commission’s consideration in March 2020, again prior to the Planning Commission Appeals Board taking it up in July.  We received the following letter overnight.

Dear Ascension Parish Residents,

On the February 18, 2021 Ascension Parish Council agenda is Executive Session that includes the case, Delaune v. Ascension Parish Planning Commission et al. Suit #129606.  The item was included without my knowledge and I was never consulted nor informed that it was going to be included.  It took conversations with our parish Attorney, Planning Director and Engineering Review Agent to learn the substance of this agenda item.

It is my belief that Delaune Estates (formerly known as Antebellum Pointe subdivision) will be considered for approval by the council in the guise of settling the lawsuit mentioned above.  The council vote will, if my suspicions are correct, take place once the body returns from Executive Session.  In return for approval of the original subdivision plat, the plaintiffs will agree to dismiss its suit.

Twice rejected for non-compliance with Ascension’s Traffic Study Policy, little has changed with the developer’s plat application.  That is notwithstanding those proponents who claim that a new traffic study has been done to fix all deficiencies, and compliance achieved.

That is just not the case.

Any proposed mitigation solution being proposed depends upon Louisiana DOTD allowing changes to multiple traffic signals’ timing. To date, DOTD has provided no confirmation that they would make this adjustment to the Hwy 73/White Road intersection signal.  The same goes for other Hwy 73 intersections.

In fact, the exact opposite has occurred. DOTD has stated, unequivocally, it would NOT make any adjustments which would negatively affect traffic on the Hwy 73 in favor of a proposed subdivision.

As Parish President I fully support the Planning Commission’s denial of Antebellum Pointe.  It is my sincere belief that it will withstand judicial scrutiny and I trust the court to render the appropriate decision.

But the issues presented by this matter touch upon larger problems.  In the months to come my administration will recommend legislation to engage an independent, 3rd party traffic consultant to perform the studies required of every subdivision plat application.  That is instead of the consultant hired by the developer.

Developers will foot the bill, but the parish will select the traffic consultant that performs these all-important studies.  The chosen firm will be prohibited from doing any other business with Ascension Parish.  This is the only way to ensure a reliable traffic study and not one altered to obtain a desired result.

As I promised you on the campaign trail in 2019, I will always look after citizens first and stand against irresponsible growth unsupported by inadequate infrastructure.  We, as a parish government, must do more to protect against overdevelopment, jeopardizing the health, safety, and welfare of every resident.

While I sincerely hope that my suspicions about tonight’s Executive Session are wrong, my administration will remain vigilant.

Stay informed and God Bless,

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment