Lafayette’s public works director steps down to take job with developer _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Lafayette Consolidated Government Chief Development Officer Kevin Blanchard speaks in 2014 at a Small Area Plan Presentation at the Rosa Parks Center in Lafayette. The presentation showed how Lafayette's Comprehensive Plan would affect small, distinct areas of the oarish, including Johnston Street at Bertrand Street (urban), the Northgate Mall area (suburban) and the Milton area (rural).

Lafayette City-Parish Public Works Director Kevin Blanchard is stepping down to take a job with Southern Lifestyle Development, the company behind the Village of River Ranch and similar developments across the state.

He made the announcement Wednesday, four days after state Rep. Joel Robideaux defeated Dee Stanley in the contest to replace City-Parish President Joey Durel, who brought Blanchard into his administration two years ago.

Blanchard said he had accepted the job before the election but thought it appropriate to hold off on an announcement.

“It’s actually not linked to the change in administration,” Blanchard said. “I decided prior to the election that I would take the job. It’s a really good opportunity.”

Blanchard, an attorney, will work as general counsel with SLD.

In his work at city-parish government, he has helped overhaul Lafayette’s zoning laws and was closely involved in work to craft city-parish government’s new long-range comprehensive plan for growth and development.

Durel hired Blanchard in November 2013 to serve as city-parish government’s first chief development officer.

A year later, Durel tapped him to replace former Public Works Director Tom Carroll, who retired.

“Kevin brings to the table a wide range of experience that will be a great fit with our business model at a time when our company is enjoying phenomenal growth,” said Robert Daigle, one of the founders of SLD. “We are excited to have him on board.”

Blanchard said he plans to begin his new job on Nov. 16 but has agreed to offer any assistance he can to Robideaux as he prepares to take office in January.

“If I’m needed for the transition, I’m there,” Blanchard said.