More orderly future development in store for city of Scott _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Workers build a brick facade Thursday on a newly-constructed building on the I-10 frontage road in Scott.

There will be no new mobile parks or dirt pits in the city of Scott, and future development in general will be more orderly under new regulations set to go into effect Jan. 1.

The new land-use code, approved by the City Council this month, will bring comprehensive development regulations to a city that now has few restrictions.

“It gives us a great opportunity to grow our community and not look back 20 years down the road and say, ‘What did we do?’ ” Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison said.

The regulations carve the city up into several different districts and spell out what types of developments can be built in each — rural residential, suburban residential, industrial, urban commercial or urban center.

The idea is to maintain the character of Scott, so the new districts are drawn based on existing development patterns, Morrison said.

He said the regulations ensure new developments are in line with the city’s overall vision for growth and that objectionable ones are kept out.

“Definitely, trailer parks will be no more, and dirt pits will be no more. It will protect our current residents from some obnoxious use that would come in,” Morrison said. “Now, the city will have regulations and rules in place where we can walk in and stop that type of business.”

The new code does not apply to existing developments and does allow for some wiggle room.

For example, a mechanic shop would not be allowed in a rural residential area, but a bed-and-breakfast would be OK if the administration signs off on it. And a hotel might be allowed if the developer secures approval from the Planning Commission and the City Council.

The extra layers of approval allow city officials the option of proposing additional requirements to offset the impact of a new business, such as fences, landscaping and buffer space, said Pat Logan, who oversees planning for Scott.

The city also has approved special conditions for the 2-mile Apollo Road extension from Cameron Street to the intersection of Dulles Drive and Rue de Belier, a stretch that Scott officials are trying to nurture into a vibrant commercial area.

Regulations for Apollo Road, in addition to stipulating what can’t be built in the area, call for height restrictions on signs, hidden garbage cans and higher-end building materials, as opposed to vinyl siding and concrete blocks.

“It’s to ensure and to maintain the highest and best use for the property there,” Logan said. “It would prevent someone from building a metal storage building next to your property when you are looking at it for a hotel or a nice restaurant.”

He said construction on Apollo Road is expected to begin in phases next year, and the entire road should be open to traffic in about three years.

Scott is the latest city to implement development regulations in a parish where there were few guidelines outside the city of Lafayette until five years ago.

Broussard began phasing in zoning in 2009.

Carencro adopted a land-use code in 2009, the Lafayette City-Parish Council in 2012 adopted a land-use plan for rural areas of the parish, and Youngsville followed suit with a similar land-use code last year.

The land-use codes in those areas rely on varying degrees of buffer space, fences and landscaping to dampen the impact of a new development.

The strategy differs from that of conventional zoning, which regulates development by stipulating what can be built in what areas of a city — industrial, commercial, residential.

Scott’s new code is a hybrid, mapping out areas where different types of development are favored but also allowing for more flexibility than conventional zoning and giving city officials the power to require buffers and fences in some instances.