Natchitoches Planning and Zoning Commission denies Rowanoak development application

Residents, real estate agents and former fire chief attended the City Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Aug. 10 to voice their concern and opposition over an application by Rowanoak Development LLC, owned by David Strange of Jackson, Miss. The application is for the development of the Glendale Subdivision, which would be located on a 12.436 acre tract of land adjacent to Weaver Elementary on St. Maurice Lane.

The application includes 36 single family homes, approximately 1,500 sq. feet at a $225,000 price point on 8,400 sq. ft lots. However, Strange deflected questions about whether the homes would be sold to individual buyers or would they be lease/rental units. It was pointed out that all of Mr. Strange’s properties are lease/rentals.  Strange talked about the benefits of energy efficient homes, underground utilities, street lighting and restrictive covenants. He mentioned the fact that the lots are 8,400 sq. feet which is larger than the required 7,200 sq. ft.

Those who came to speak in opposition of the development had submitted a petition with around 426 signatures. Speakers said St. Maurice Lane is a narrow, open-ditch road with drainage problems that’s not adequate enough to handle increased traffic the Glendale subdivision would bring to the area. Add to that the three schools in the immediate vicinity with congested traffic and car lines. There were also concerns over the subdivision having a single entry point and what that would mean for emergency response vehicles trying to access homes. Other concerns included decrease to surrounding property values, overall drainage impact on the area, future maintenance of detention drainage ponds and community center, and the compact design of the lots leading to an overall compressed layout.

Commission members voted unanimously to deny the application after listening to all attendees. Strange has a 10 day window to appeal the decision and bring the denial before the City Council for consideration.

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