Another Dantin-Bruce Development, LLC subdivision on Hwy 42 in Prairieville was approved by Ascension’s Planning Commission in a 5-2 vote on Wednesday. Windsor Park is a 92-lot subdivision on 31 acres between Old Jefferson and Hwy 44 in one of the parish’s most highly-congested traffic corridors. But neighboring residents who packed the meeting room were less concerned about traffic writ large than additional motorists in their existing neighborhoods threatened by what has come to be a dirty word…connectivity.
“I don’t think it’s fair to existing subdivisions,” opined the area’s representative on the Parish Council, Aaron Lawler. “People in these (existing) neighborhoods bought with the understanding of one-way-in, one-way-out.”
Connectivity is “encouraged” in Ascension’s development code, not required.
Councilman Lawler had plenty of backup, 14 residents making the same point. Dead end streets afford less fettered access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic generated by existing residents in multiple subdivisions which were built over the last three decades. While a few speakers referenced “atrocious” Hwy 42 traffic congestion, a few others decried insufficient drainage, cheers greeted Windsor Park’s approval sans connection of its roads to their subdivisions.
Three separate Homeowners Associations were represented, multiple petitions opposing Windsor Park’s preliminary plat proposal, all seemingly placated by the connectivity-less approval. There were a couple of questions concerning the concomitant Traffic Impact Study, reliant upon traffic counts from November 2018 because data in the age of COVID inaccurately depicts normal traffic patterns. Traffic Engineer Laurence Lambert explained that the two-year old count was adjusted to factor in additional motorists from other subsequent developments.
Level of Service at Hwy 42 intersections are currently substandard. All, according to the traffic study, will be made right when Louisiana DOTD finishes construction of additional lanes of travel on the state highway. Five votes to approve (newly-appointed commissioner Robert Hodgson joined Chairman Matthew Pryor, Julio Dumas, Ken Firmin and Shannon Hutchings). Casting his first preliminary plat vote was Richard Carmouche who joined Commissioner Aaron Chaisson in the minority.