Liaisons from the Lafayette City-Parish Council are being briefed Tuesday on land-use recommendations presented Monday evening to the Planning Commission from a Lafayette IN a Century citizen committee. The 28-page document addresses issues both within Lafayette’s urban core as well as the outlying unincorporated parish.
In its broadest strokes, the LINC committee recommends redevelopment within the city utilizing existing infrastructure and relying in part of resident input, as well as the widespread use of nodes — high-density, mixed-use developments at major corridors throughout the parish. The committee also recommends combining city and parish regulations regarding subdivisions. The “creation of one set of rules would streamline development decisions,” the document reads.
“It went really well with the Planning Commission last night,” says committee member Sterling LeJeune. “We got some real positive feedback from them.”
“The underlying basis for the Land Use Plan Framework and the Land Use Implementation Strategy is to target areas for specific actions based on planning principles,” the document’s introduction reads. “By prioritizing areas of the parish, good decisions regarding future development can be made. Moreover, if smart growth is to be encouraged in the city’s core, current land use regulations need to be modified.”
For unincorporated Lafayette Parish, the LINC committee recommends establishing buffer districts to “reduce conflict between existing land uses and new developments” similar to the land-use ordinance the city of Carencro adopted a couple of years ago.
The commission’s goals for the city of Lafayette’s urban core include focusing infrastructure investment and encouraging densities and mixed use with neighborhood participation. LINC identifies Lafayette’s urban core as the areas commonly known as downtown, Le Centre, Freetown/Port Rico, McComb-Veazey and the Oil Center.
The committee also recommends the creation of seven urban-core zoning districts and the use of neighborhood coteries in helping to determine land use. “In this area, we see many signs of urban disinvestment and areas that require revitalization,” the recommendation says. “In addition, the urban core area includes what may be considered the “close-in” suburbs to the original core but lack connectivity with that core. This area possesses most of the ingredients — infrastructure, proximity to downtown, a mix of residential/retail, sidewalks, transit, etc.— that are the basis for smart growth.”
The planning commission will consider the recommendations for a couple of weeks. Following final adoption, the commission will forward the recommendations to City-Parish President Joey Durel and to members of the City-Parish Council, who will have 90 days to write ordinances for implementation, at which time an implementation committee will have 120 days to come up with a plan for implementing the recommendations as written into ordinance(s).
Created through the appointment of a steering committee 11 years ago, the LINC Comprehensive Master Plan was approved by the CPC in 2007. LCG is expected to release a request for proposals soon seeking a major planning firm to study Lafayette’s growth and development patterns, as well as its goals — using LINC as a basis — and develop a master plan to help the parish manage it’s growth in the coming decades. To view the LINC plan, click here.
MAY 17 Here's a column from James Gill, this time in the Advocate. Gill, who has jumped ship from the Picayune, writes about the absurdity of dueling polls in this post. The numbers are so wildly different, it is obvious that both sides are "cooking the books," he writes. In particular, he looks at Sen. Mary Landrieu, and how her recent actions in DC have been received by those polled. Gill's acerbic, amusing prose is a welcome addition to a paper so conservative as to be occasionally lacking in personality.
MAY 17 Blogger Tom Aswell continues delivering bombshells about the state education department and Gov. Jindal's education "reform" efforts. In this post, he reports that students in the Shreveport area have been signed up for a charter school without their knowledge or consent. Most interesting to Aswell is how this Texas-based charter (with ties to GOP types) got the personal student information it has, if the students didn't give it.
MAY 17 This post by JR Ball in the Baton Rouge Business Report is an interesting tongue-in-cheek look at recent Baton Rouge economic development efforts. Among the items he examines is the idea that gaining a Costco makes BR a "world-class city." (Really? All you need is a different brand of Sam's? MK!) This effort, and other recent ones, are all built on the taxpayer's back, with tax zones, tax incentives and tax rebates, Ball writes.
MAY 17 Blogger CB Forgotston is critical of the legislature's reliance on a revenue-estimating committee's decision to include projected tax amnesty income in this year's forecast. That's a problem, CB posts, because the deadline for these people to pay their taxes is June 30, 2014. So when do you think these people who haven't paid taxes in years are going to pay their taxes? Surely not before June 30, and that means the money won't be there for this year's budget, he argues.
MAY 17 Here's an interesting blog out of California by a Hollywood writer, attorney and academic named Brian Alan Lane. He blogs about higher ed, and was a whistle-blower in a scandal over false credentials. In this post, he takes aim at LSU's new top dog, King Alexander. It's convoluted and a little confusing, but it sure makes Alexander a lot more interesting than he was yesterday.
MAY 17 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the LSU Board's refusal to allow Dr. Fred Cerise to testify before the legislature about Gov. Jindal's plan to close down all the state's charity hospitals and dump the poor on the private system. It's hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Cerise to testify about that, so why would anyone try to prevent him doing so? Mann thinks it is because the powers that be aren't interested in hearing any truth about the plan.
MAY 17 This post on the Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle, a blog that notes developments in the Bayou Corne and Jefferson Island salt domes, talks about a proposed expansion of the salt dome storage under Lake Peigneur in Iberia Parish. Residents are working against it for several reasons, including two biggies: the sinkhole disaster in Bayou Corne and the continuing, unexplained bubbling on the surface of the Lake.
MAY 17 NOLA police arrested more people Thursday accused of either being involved in the Mother's Day shooting or hiding the suspect afterward, this Gambit story reports. The NOLA police chief said he suspects the whole thing was gang-related and throws out a challenge to the gangs: he's got informants now, he says, and he knows a lot more than the gangs want him to know. The people who live in the neighborhoods terrorized by gangs are ready to talk, he says.
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.