Two subdivisions off Hoo Shoo Too Road failed to win the approval of the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission on Monday night because of residents’ concerns about drainage, traffic and road safety, though at least one of them will be back for another hearing.
Developers with Mallard Trails, which would put 90 single-family residential lots on 57 acres on the south side of Hoo Shoo Too Road, east of Wood Duck Drive, came back to the commission with a second access road and a drainage impact study, though neither were enough to persuade the opposition.
Pepper Allgood, a lawyer who lives near the proposed subdivision, said the second connection does not solve any of the problems because it still puts the traffic onto a road with no outlet.
He said the drainage impact study found the development would be illegal under the unified development code, though Randy Roussel, the attorney for developer George W. Robinson, said the city-parish Department of Public Works did not object.
When the commission voted on Mallard Trails, it failed to get the five votes necessary to pass. Commissioners Tara Wicker, Darius Bonton, James Gilmore and Sarah Holliday-James voted for the subdivision, while Laurie Marien, Steven Perret, John Price and Martha Jane Tassin voted against. Commissioner W.T. Winfield was not present.
Subdivisions do not move on to the Metro Council as a denial, but Planning Director Troy Bunch said Robinson is free to resubmit Mallard Trails.
The second subdivision that failed to pass muster was Hoo Shoo Too Lakes II, a narrow 15-acre strip of land owned by Dick Brien and sandwiched between Mallard Crossing and Hoo Shoo Too Lakes.
Brien said the prior approval of those subdivisions drastically changed the character of his property and made the pending sale to developer DSLD to put 41 lots there the only logical thing to do.
Allgood and area resident Angel McCarstle said FutureBR, the parish’s master plan, calls for the area to remain rural, and McCarstle pointed out the planned unit development designation Brien was seeking was not intended to be used simply to let developers increase density to three times what they’d be allowed if the property was zoned appropriately.
The commission first voted to deny the subdivision but only got votes from Wicker, Bonton and Tassin, though the following vote to approve it failed as well, as some commissioners switched votes with an eye toward a third vote to defer.
Only Holliday-James and Marien voted to approve. The subdivision was deferred with only Wicker objecting.