City Council denies St. Maurice Subdivision application a second time

UPDATE: Rhodes Attorney Issues Statement regarding this vote:

https://natchitochesparishjournal.com/2020/01/28/rhodes-attorney-release-statement-regarding-st-maurice-place-subdivision/

The Natchitoches City Council voted to deny an appeal from Rhodes Properties and Development at its meeting Monday night, Jan. 27. The appeal was for the Council to review a decision of the Natchitoches Planning and Zoning Commission at its Dec. 3 meeting that denied the application regarding the St. Maurice Subdivision. The Council voted to uphold the Commission’s decision, except for Council Member Sylvia Morrow.

The overall reasoning behind the decision was the preservation of the neighborhood’s character.

“Every homeowner has spoken to that [the character of the development] and that speaks volumes to me,” said Council Member Eddie Harrington. Several area residents spoke about their concerns for drainage, traffic congestion, the Rhodes’ trustworthiness, and decreasing property values.

Attorney Jared Dunahoe spoke for the Rhodes brothers. The gist of his argument was that after the Rhodes prior appeal was denied for its first application for the St. Maurice Subdivision project at a Council meeting on Sept. 13, the Rhodes brought everything into compliance with ordinances. They changed the design from a gated community to one on a public street with a 60 foot right-of-way instead of the initial 50 foot they had planned. The lots sizes (7,200 sq ft) meet the minimum required, although according to the Council many lots in the area are 20,000-21,000 sq ft on average. The new application also had one less house (27 lots) and the retention pond was removed.

Dunahoe said the changes Rhodes made before reapplying bring them in 100 percent compliance.

“Tonight’s decision is about will Natchitoches be a City that follows the rules…or will we move the goal post just to achieve a desired result. They’ve followed the rules and they should be allowed to continue with their project.”

Other agenda items included:

PLANNING & ZONING – FINAL:

Amend Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing

Zoning Classification Of Property at 1504 Gold St. from R-3 Residence Multiple Family to R-3 Residence Multiple Family, Special Exception to operate Save the Children Head Start.

Amend Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing

Zoning Classification Of Property at 219 Williams Ave. from R-1 Residential to R-1 Residential, Special Exception to operate a Bed & Breakfast.

2019 ORDINANCE – FINAL:

Authorize The City To Lease A Portion Of A Building Located At 200 Rapides Drive To Youth & Families Empowerment Services, LLC.

ORDINANCES – FINAL:
Approve The Acquisition Of The Hanger Located On Lot 3 Of The Natchitoches Regional Airport From Harold G. Foster And Laurie M. Berry, For The Consideration Of $13,000.

Amend Ordinance Number 042 Of 2019 Which Said Ordinance Approved The Acquisition Of A Tract Of Land Situated On The Western Right Of Way Of Sixth Street In The City Of Natchitoches, From Eagle Distributing Of Shreveport, Inc., For The Total Consideration Of $400,000.

Amend the 2019-2020 Budget to Reflect Additional Revenues And Expenditures.

ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION:

Authorize The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches To Award The Bid For The Natchitoches Event Center Roof Replacement Project.

Authorize The Mayor Or His Designee To Advertise An Airport Hanger Lease For Maintenance Shop, Establishing The Terms And Conditions For Said Lease Which Will Include Obligation Of Lessee To Provide An Experienced Aircraft Mechanic And Aircraft Mechanics Shop For Fixed Wing And Rotor Wing Aircraft, Authorizing Mayor To Execute Lease After Due Advertisements And Compliance With Law.

RESOLUTIONS:

Authorize The Mayor To Execute A Certificate Of Substantial Completion To The Contract Between The City Of Natchitoches And Ratcliff Construction Company For The Natchitoches Sports & Recreation Park.

Authorize The Mayor To Enter Into Contract With Travelers Casualty And Surety Company Of America For The Public Official Schedule Bond For The City Of Natchitoches.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The next scheduled City Council meeting will be Monday, February 10, 2020.



6 thoughts on “City Council denies St. Maurice Subdivision application a second time

  1. I am amazed more people aren’t selling and leaving town do
    to the pot holes,now on top of home repairs you will have more auto
    repairs do to pot holes and horrible roads .

  2. I don’t think anyone residing in Natchitoches has objections to growth such as new subdivisions, but maybe it’s time to start looking at growth that is good for the entire town. A subdivision in that particular location is not good planning. The first major problem will be an increase in traffic coming off St.Maurice onto Williams at that bad curve. I believe more traffic would mean more accidents, especially the way a lot of drivers tend to speed on Williams. I don’t know about others, but I think it’s very difficult to see any vehicles coming from the direction of Church St. bridge. A traffic light would need to be installed to prevent an increase in traffic accidents. St Maurice is not a street built for a lot of traffic, and it already has too many cars traveling it on a daily basis. I believe that even though that proposed subdivision would be near the beginning of St Maurice, it’s not good enough for that many more cars. The second concern to me would be flooding in the entire area. Was Rhodes prepared to build substantial storm sewers to prevent flooding of a new subdivision? I think there would have been flooding all around the area. And I opposed the subdivision for these two reasons primarily. Do they really think people want to live that close to town? If that’s true, there are a lot of places on the west side, close in, where they could build beautiful homes. It might not be a subdivision, but why does it have to be. As far as the desire to be close to town, on the river, on the lake or in a wooded area. I understand that people are selling to move to the lake. Unless they happen to be selling to move from Natchitoches due to the high crime we now seem to be experiencing. If you don’t think that’s so, check out the online site, npsheriff.org. Look at the arrests, see what they are arrested for, how many bonded out and are back on the streets of Natchitoches, and think of how many seem to be alluding the authorities. We are not opposed to growth, but I believe most of us want growth that is well planned and done the right way. That is just my take on things.

  3. Natchitoches unwillingness to grow past what it already is will be its demise. Its dying and nobody sees it. RIP Natchitoches.

    • it is dying off and all they care about is front street,christmas festival and
      some new idiotic ball bark with a tax increase.

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