Windermere Crossing subdivision approved by Planning Commission

Top row (left to right) Chairman Matthew Pryor, Commissioners Richard Carmouche, Ken Firmin, and Aaron Chaisson. Julio Dumas (middle left), and Robert Hodgson (bottom left).  Not pictured: Commissioner Shannon Hutchings who was absent.

Reverting to form, the Ascension Parish Planning Commission approved Windermere Crossing subdivision’s 103-lot preliminary plat by a 4-2 vote on Wednesday, but not the one submitted through the Planning Department.  The 35+ acre residential subdivision is “on the north side of Cannon Road approximately 400’ west of Roddy Road.”  It is the same property as Amalfi Cove, a 105-lot plat denied on December 12, 2018.

A second subdivision plat, for Clare Court, was also approved.  Look for that piece tomorrow.

The plat submitted for consideration on Wednesday envisioned one restricted entrance/exit on Roddy Road, right-hand turns only.  If allowed to turn left onto Roddy Road, the nearest intersection to the north (at Black Bayou Road) would see a drop in Level of Service to an unacceptable “E.”  Ultimately, the solution would be an additional entrance on Cannon Road (with no thought of requiring a new Traffic Impact Study) but not before other less palatable options were considered.

After two motions to approve with different conditions failed, Commissioner Julio Dumas made the motion, proposed by Dantin Bruce Development (sort of), that satisfied three colleagues.

The Roddy Road restricted entrance/exit was retained with a second entrance/exit on Cannon Road added.  Cannon is among the narrowest roads Ascension Parish has to offer…

Cannon Road viewed west-to-east

and that is saying something.  Dantin Bruce will widen Cannon from Roddy to O’Neal Road…

Good enough for Chairman Matthew Pryor, no surprise there, along with Commissioners Ken Firmin and Robert Hodgson. Wednesday’s was the first controversial vote cast by Hodgson, appointed to the commission in 2020.  It is an ominous sign for parish residents frustrated by over-development, perceived or real, over a dozen of them opposed Windermere Crossing to little effect.

In the two years from the commission’s October 2018 approval of The Villas at Rosewood there was only one plat approval, Hidden Lakes in June 2020.  Hodgson and Richard Carmouche were appointed to the Planning Commission after the Hidden Lakes approval.

Amalfi Cove proposed 105 lots on the property upon which Windermere Crossing is intended.  On December 12, 2018 it was denied by a 4-3 vote, the majority focusing on Cannon Road’s inability to handle current traffic.  Dantin Bruce Development…

Commission denies subdivision proposed on Roddy/Cannon roads

learning from Amalfi Cove’s mistake, eliminated the Cannon Road entrance from the preliminary plat submitted for Windermere Crossing.  Making the lone remaining entrance/exit on Roddy Road a right-turn only would funnel traffic to Cannon Road anyway, to which multiple commissioners objected.

“I would say it still doesn’t meet Section 17-4032 (of Ascension’s Development Code),” opined Commissioner Aaron Chaisson, disagreeing with the project engineer.

The operative ordinance reads, “No major or minor subdivision may be developed on any street which is less than 18’ in pavement width.”  Cannon Road does not fit the bill, though neither did Hwy 930 when the Commission approved another Dantin Bruce development…

First Anniversary: Jamestown Crossing preliminary plat approval

Jamestown Crossing, on May 9, 2018.  When the Planning Commission wants to approve a subdivision preliminary plat, it will find a way to do so.

On Wednesday the developer was allowed to present multiple alternatives to its preliminary plat submittal.  The first attempt eliminated Roddy Road as an entrance/exit with the promise to expand Cannon Road to 18′ in pavement width from Roddy Road all the way to Hwy 44.  It was concocted, according to Quality Engineering’s Deric Murphy, after “pretty lengthy discussions with the administration and staff.”

Planning Director Jerome Fournier assured that Ascension’s Chief Engineer Joey Tureau had been consulted, and he would ensure the expansion is “constructed to parish standards.”  According to Deric Murphy that would improve the substandard road (Cannon) over a 5,200′ length (from Roddy to Hwy 44).  The commission did not go for it, multiple commissioners citing the Development Code’s preference for two subdivision entrances.

So, a miniscule section of Cannon Road will be widened to 18′ as an unknown number of vehicles will be added daily (since there was no Traffic Study presented on Wednesday).

On a different note, had three members of 2020’s Parish Council Strategic Planning Committee supported Councilman Chase Melancon’s efforts…

Orgeron/Cagnolatti (Lambert a no show) reject school bus safety measure AGAIN

Wednesday’s debacle could have been avoided.  Melancon and Councilman Joel Robert supported a measure to prohibit any new subdivision development exiting onto a roadway less than 20′ in width.  Had the measure gotten out of committee it still would have required adoption of an ordinance by the full council.