During my leadership class, we looked at cities thought of as well managed, like Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, and others that have used smart growth or some variation of strategic planning to improve their residents' quality of life. Despite all of the positive aspects of the developments in those cities, at the end of the day, the means of achieving those conditions (like Lincoln's aggressive zoning and development laws) were dismissed as liberal ideas and therefore "not gonna happen" in Lafayette. In City-Parish President Joey Durel's words, parish-wide zoning is "â?¦ probably not even worth talking about." Therein lays the problem.
Dr. Kam Movassaghi said, "It takes leadership," and I agree with that, but not in the form of deciding to pay more taxes to improve our roads. I think it takes leadership to open your mind and use proven methods to solve public problems. If a private entity is denied a permit for a development because it would create additional demand where the infrastructure is already insufficient, wouldn't that be in the public's best interest? I realize private demand is often ahead of public investment in infrastructure. In such cases, there should be conditional approval to allow new developments but require private funding of infrastructure improvements as part of the new developments. Otherwise, it takes the political will to insist that new developments are made where the infrastructure exists to support it.
We have a consolidated government, with departments of traffic and transportation, public works, planning, zoning and codes, and they are all vital functions of government. Parish-wide zoning, a comprehensive land use plan or some type of master plan for "smart growth" is definitely worth talking about if infrastructure is considered a factor in our quality of life in Lafayette. We need to employ our public resources in ways that serve the public's best interest. Sometimes that may mean you have to say no to somebody's big money deal, or we can just learn to live with growing pains.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Dogs get back-to-school blues; mother pleads for release of journalist; ice bucket challenge and more national and international news for Thursday, August 28, 2014.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.
Seven of the 11 U.S. cities in a new ranking of “most dangerous diets” are in the Bayou and Lone Star states, but the ranking is more about poverty than fried oysters.
Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham got the message from the NFL. He's not dunking footballs over goal posts any more.
With qualifying over, the start of campaign season is official, and for the Lafayette Parish School Board, the race toward Nov. 4 will pit 20 candidates in battles for all 9 of the district’s available seats.
An abortion rights organization has filed the first court challenge to a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election Friday the same as any other candidate, filling out paperwork and handing over cash to pay his qualifying fee. But he finished it quite differently, doused with ice.
The recent release of Victor White III’s autopsy report could spell trouble, as it tells a much different story of his death than the one told five months ago by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“Candidates for Congress and members of Congress spend between 30 and 70 percent of their time raising money to get back to Congress or to get their party back into power.”
Over the last four days of the trial against attorney Daniel Stanford, there’s been one notable absence from Judge Elizabeth Foote’s courtroom: attorney Bill Goode.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Nick Toon are not on the same page yet, and time is running short for Toon to get it right.