On Wednesday Ascension’s Planning Commission approved (by a 5-1 vote) the preliminary plat for 14th Filing for Pelican Point Golf Community-Plantation Commons, the application is for a new filing containing 77 lots. “This subdivision is located on the west side of Hwy 44 approximately two miles south of Interstate 10,” one of south Ascension’s most highly traveled roadways where Louisiana DOTD plans a roundabout (at the intersection with Hwy 941/Loosemore Road). The approval was made contingent upon traffic mitigation measures to which the developer acquiesced.
Commissioner Richard Carmouche was the lone “NAY” with Chairman Matthew Pryor absent.
Current Traffic Impact Policy reads, in pertinent part:
“A proposed development which is subject to the TIA requirements of this policy may be disapproved when the results of the required TIA demonstrate that the proposed project will overburden the existing roadway system by causing a reduction in service of affected roadways, negatively impacts the safety of the roadway, or is below the adopted Level of Service (LOS) “D”. In the case where the existing LOS is below “D”, the required mitigating improvements shall improve the LOS to “D” or better.”
According to Traffic Impact documents included in Wednesday’s meeting packet:
Existing analysis show intersection at LA 44/Court Yard Drive operates worse than D. Northbound Left Turn Lane and Southbound Right turn lane along LA 44 would improve the intersection to a LOS of D.
Offsite Intersections Studied: LA 44 at Court Yard Drive and LA 44 at Pelican Point Parkway Conclusion: At LA 44/Pelican Point Parkway, Northbound Left dropped from LOS A to LOS B and Southbound Thru dropped from LOS B to LOS C. PM Peak Signal timing will mitigate the LOS drop.
The commission conditioned approval in keeping with those two conclusions, requiring Hwy 44 turn-lanes onto Court Yard Drive from both directions and adjusting the timing of the existing traffic signal at Hwy 44/Pelican Point Parkway. Signal optimization is the exclusive province of Louisiana DOTD which, according to Planning Staff, has already signed off on the mitigation measure.
In other business the commission unanimously recommended amending Ascension’s Uniform Land Development Code to require the widening of certain roadways targeted for new subdivision ingress/egress. The change came from Planning Staff at the direction of President Clint Cointment’s administration. Ascension Parish Council is the ultimate authority since the change can only be accomplished by ordinance.
The recommendation calls for adding the following paragraph to Section 17:4032:
Should a major or minor subdivision be required to increase the width of a substandard street pursuant to 17-4032-A-1-a, the increase in pavement width shall be as identified in Appendix 8 of the ULDC Major Street Plan or the Master Transportation Plan whichever is most current and for a length between two roads that are identified in Appendix 8 of the ULDC-Major Street Plan or the Master Transportation Plan whichever is most current. Should the street width not be identified in the ULDC-Major Street Plan or Master Transportation Plan the street shall be widened to 20 feet from pavement edge to pavement edge.
A substandard road, at present, is defined by the ordinance as “any street which is less than 18’ in pavement width.”
The Cointment administration attempted to effectuate the change in 2020. Twice it was presented at meetings of the Council Strategic Planning Committee.
On neither occasion would three votes be found to get the measure out of committee.