OPELOUSAS — Residents of a secluded area south of Sunset packed the St. Landry Parish Council meeting Wednesday as their attorney argued that a proposed addiction treatment center in the community lacks sufficient drainage and land area.
Jack Burson, a Eunice attorney representing residents in the Choctaw Drive area the Interstate 49 service road, said the proposed Acadiana Addiction Center is “an ill-conceived project that has been misrepresented” from its inception.
Burson said the facility, which will accommodate patients undergoing treatment for substance abuse, will be housed in a former residence that is unsuitable for the 50 persons the center intends to treat.
He said that number of patients would require a level of water, drainage and sewage that the residence currently is unable to provide.
Burson also said a 3-acre pond on the property is insufficient for the proposed facility’s drainage needs.
No representatives from the Acadiana Addiction Center spoke at Wednesday’s meeting.
St. Landry Parish currently has no zoning ordinance for unincorporated areas of the parish. However, Burson noted that state law allows parish governments to create zoning commissions to handle issues similar to the one faced by the Choctaw Drive residents, who packed the meeting held at the Old City Market building on the courthouse square.
“Is it fair to permit something that is totally incompatible with the type of residential neighborhood that exists there?” Burson said.
Sheriff Bobby Guidroz told the council his office has not been notified of an occupational license permit application from the Acadiana Addiction Center.
Burson said the center will also need to undergo a lengthy permit application and screening process from the State Department of Health and Hospitals before it begins operation.
The DHH, Burson said, has reported no activity concerning the treatment center.
Council member Wayne Ardoin said he was told by the former owner of the property, whom he did not name, that the facility would operate as a health care business with its offices elsewhere.
“This (center) is going to be located on a beautiful home site that is not designed for what it’s supposed to be,” Ardoin said. “I would like to see this stopped any way (the council) can, so it doesn’t hurt these people.”
The council took no action on the matter Wednesday.