City Council denies subdivision appeal

The Natchitoches City Council voted to uphold the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision to deny the application by Rhodes Properties and Development regarding the St. Maurice Subdivision.

Council member Laurence Batiste couldn’t attend the meeting, but asked fellow Council member Eddie Harrington to let everyone know he is opposed to the project. The vote was 3:1 with Sylvia Morrow voting in favor of the Rhodes’ appeal.

Friday morning’s special called meeting, Sept. 13 was held so the Council could review the decision made by Planning and Zoning at its Aug. 6 meeting.

There was a large turnout of people speaking for and against the project. The main things that were talked about were flooding, traffic and property values.

For the Council members it all boiled down to the character of the development. The Rhodes’ were proposing approximately 8,000 sq. ft. lots for 28 homes to fit into the 7 acre tract of empty land near the St. Maurice Lane and Williams Avenue intersection. Other lots in the surrounding areas range from 16,000-22,000 sq. ft. So, while the lot sizes proposed by the Rhodes are above the minimum size required by the City, they do not fit the character of the surrounding neighborhoods. The Council suggested making lots larger and building fewer homes on the property.

Another issue for the Council was the proposed private drive which would provide access to the subdivision. With the private drive being the only way in or out of the subdivision, council members suggested a public street connected to Oma Street may be a better way to develop the area.

5 thoughts on “City Council denies subdivision appeal

  1. Maybe now these developers will return to the drawing board and come back with a proposal the adjacent property owners can at least tolerate and the city council will approve. It is a clear a private street will not be approved, nor will close to 30 units, nor will a huge concrete slab that will cause flooding of the neighbors. If the Rhodes don’t wish to pursue this sensible path they will sell the property to someone else who will.

    Of course the adjacent property owners could form an LLC and buy the property themselves, turn it into a private park for their own use and keep it a green space forever.

    • Rhodes Bros bought property for $250,000 from Ahrens. Entire 7 acres for $250,000. They were approached before first zoning meeting about buying the property & they wanted $250,000 PER ACRE!

      • They can “want” that much all they want, but they’ll never get it. I suppose before they were SLAM DUNKED!!! they were feeling cocky. Now that reality has stepped in, they should be more reasonable.

  2. There was a proposal brought before the council concerning a subdivision that majority is opposed to. Period. It is no personal attack of any kind on anyone. James and Justin Rhodes both are good people. If this was not before the council their respectable folks and families. Most business owners in this town are personally attacked. Not good behavior to promote this.

    • Addressing business practices is not a personal attack, no. However, it shows great lack of attention to the community and callous disrespect for the future to continue to develop in ways that are not conducive to the essence and safety of the overall landscape of Natchitoches. Crowding, lack of consideration for drainage, abandonment of responsibility for poor division planning… these are all very negative things for a developer to do, no matter how “nice” they are. Good people sometimes do bad things, and this is one example. Ask people who live in other Rhodes developments how they feel.

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